Joanna Buchanan Summer Entertaining
The food should reflect your décor... nothing wrong with serving lobster and having the table set with our beautiful lobster napkin rings or a seafood cocktail with our crab cocktail picks!
When it comes to the table décor, keep the colour palette tight in blues and creams—then you can add lots of wonderful fresh flowers for accent colour. No matter what pieces you choose for the table, if you keep the colour focused it will keep your table looking very sophisticated.
I LOVE a garden party! My garden is inspired by traditional English gardens, and we have so many wonderful areas to set up tables for eating, buffets and cocktail moments. Setting an outdoor garden party is all about the colors of nature and layers of texture. And if you don't have a garden in which to entertain, you can still create the vibe by adding lots of lovely greenery and, of course, fresh garden flowers.
For color palette, I love the aqua and soft greens with accents of pink from our ruffle trim placemats or peony napkins. Add don't forget our etched wing napkin rings... a beautiful bug really did land on your table! I think it's really important to bring in a lot of different textures here — linen, abaca, beading — this type of layering will make the table feel very dimensional. And some beautiful candlesticks!
Here are a few of my tried-and-true summer entertaining tips to help you navigate through the season!
1. Set up a self-serve bar and when guests arrive, encourage them to help themselves so you won't be running around all day serving drinks. Our capiz tray is a wonderful way to set a spectacular moment that will make your guests gravitate towards the bar!
2. If you are eating outside, don't serve everything at once — have waves of food coming out. I always have the first wave set for when everyone arrives: appetizers, pitchers of cocktails (love a Pimms!) and kid-friendly snacks if it's that kind of gathering. The second wave is the "meal"... BBQ is my go-to! The third wave is a later serving — always something pre-prepped and ready to go like a platter of cold sandwiches and fried chicken perhaps. And then the fourth, and most important, wave...the big desserts!
3. It's also fun to have a signature drink to set the mood for the gathering. I like to do something that looks as good as it tastes, so think about that! Include fruit or mint and fancy ice cubes. Our bee cocktail picks are so fun for special cocktails or for fruit skewers.
4. Don't expect or plan for perfection. A party will always bring unexpected surprises... roll with them!