Entertaining al fresco inspiration from a guest post I wrote for La Dolce Vita last summer. What a memorable evening I wanted to share here as well.
Dining and entertaining al fresco is one of the pleasures of summer I enjoy most. One of my friends recently planned a casual evening in her backyard. With a menu of a charcuterie board, appetizers and Rosé, and table décor established from the garden, a simple, stress-free formula for entertaining was set. I like to apply that same philosophy to what to wear as the hostess, or guest.
Comfort is always key, so I know that whatever I put on, it will be paired with flats. As the host, the practical side of me kicks in, and I gravitate towards prints. They hide any unforeseen splatters that may appear when preparing or serving. I keep jewelry fuss-free and limited to earrings. No bangles or long necklaces that might get in the way. Since I edit my look down to these three pieces, I like to choose items with color and impact.
I apply the same theory to my selection of beauty products. Simple and natural work best for spending an evening outside. I prefer to use a body oil over lotion. It adds a subtle sheen and doesn’t get sticky if the weather is humid. I also keep a sheer lip balm on hand for quickly freshening up, knowing that it can be applied mirror free.
Creating a beautiful table is my favorite part of entertaining, anytime of the year. Dining outside, I’ll keep in mind the atmosphere already created by what’s blooming.
My friend put together a charming setting in her yard utilizing the abundance of flowers and fruits from her garden. No need to complete with what mother nature so graciously supplies. Blue Hydrangea and yellow lemons set the stage. Hanging off the backs of chairs were net market bags filled with fruit, a creative and thoughtful party favor. The glow from the setting sun continued well into the night with string lights generously hung from the trees creating a magical scene and inviting guests to linger.
Rather than creating a full meal for this occasion, the focus was on hearty nibbling. A substantial charcuterie board was complemented by an assortment of breads, fresh vegetables and dips. A couple of old wood boards served as trays and made for easy transport from kitchen to table. An assortment of small bowls held mustard, salt, preserves and olives and low jars were filled with humus and tzatziki and kept everything accessible and casual. Carafes for water, and a couple of bottles of wine completed the simple but satisfying menu.