It is Summer, revel in the sunshine and heat and host your next gathering- gasp! - outdoors. Whether you have a chicken coop or an entire farm as your backyard, there is always enough room for a fun and festive gathering - just follow these sunny tips!
A Grill’s Sidekick
Every grill (and grill master) needs a sidekick. I suggest bringing out a durable tv tray (covered, of course, in a festive tablecloth) that you can use to stack serving platters, grilling tools and other entertaining supplies (read: beer).
I think of setting the table as getting dressed. I tend to put on far too many accessories, and I set the table using that same rule of thumb – you can never have too much. Pile the table with lots of layers – plate chargers, beautiful silver wear, colorful napkins, funky napkin rings, various glasses... Go wild!
Color and Flowers, of course.
Embrace the vibrant mood that sunshine and humidity bring, and use your most colorful table accouterments.
For me, flowers are a staple in entertaining, sometimes even more than wine! (Crazy, I know. But think: tea parties and breakfast gatherings…) When entertaining outside, however, I revel in more casual arrangements using fronds found in the garden (or for the New Yorker’s nearest bodega). Fill mason jars, old tomato cans, bottles or small vases in the most blasé of manners.
Who wants to keep running back and forth to refill glasses with sangria? I never use pitchers as much as I do when entertaining outside - and suggest you do too!
Ashtrays and Trash Receptacles
The most frustrating thing about throwing an outdoor soiree is picking up bottle caps, cigarette butts and crushed cans from the depths of the garden. Remember to put ashtrays out (for windy days, fill them with an inch of water so the ashes do not fly everywhere) and place small trash cans (please don’t use the ghastly industrial plastic variety) throughout your space.