Comments : 8

Hi friends, I  started these entertaining posts several months ago and you really seemed to enjoy them, but quite honestly considering I have done almost no entertaining, I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired. Lately have done a little bit, on a very small scale and it felt so good to be back in the saddle:)

I hosted a small lunch for a visiting out of town friend who’s birthday had been a few weeks before so it was a great excuse to get a few friends together. I had a ball setting the table and using the new china and gift wrap as part of the collaboration with Carolyne Roehm.  I will be doing a post on that little get together but here’s a sneak peek using our INCREDIBLE Carolyne Roehm x Enchanted Home lily of the valley dinnerware (click here to see it).

I thought I would focus this chapter on small luncheons, including a few food tips and simple easy to do but meaningful touches that show you went the extra mile. After all, when guests walk in an see the smallest attention to detail, it shows you cared and that their visit to your home means something to you. Makes them feel welcome and special…and we all know how good that feels:) In today’s hectic, complex and very confused world, intimate gatherings inside ones home feels like a major treat!

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So, off the bat here are a few tips. I like to plan ahead as much as possible and I am an incurable list maker. I have lists everywhere. Even if its 3 people I make a list. I like to grocery shop a day or two ahead. I always and do mean always have everything done at least the day before. Hate stress of any kind the day I am entertaining.

One of the greatest pleasures of having people over is getting to set a table. I so love doing it and try to never set the same table twice. Always fun to change things up. I love beautiful textiles at a table. Not having them can make even the prettiest tale seem cold and barren. I say always try to have a tablecloth or at least beautiful place mats and napkins.

Start with your china and see what kind of feeling/vibe you are going for. Something casual might mean simple white plates accented with something colorful or interesting. Something a bit dressier would be best with a tablecloth, to me a tablecloth (and beautiful linens) always elevates a table setting from the start. Bring out that silver, and pretty stemware…too often it sits behind cabinet doors without seeing the light of day,  for far too long (am guilty of this too).

 I was recently inspired by a lemon themed party so decided to try my hand at using lemons for this lunch table to celebrate a special friends birthday,  and I loved the effect. Here is my lunch table all set up for 4 special friends-

For the centerpiece I used our faux kalanchoe and fresh lemons in our footed white pierced dish (these are coming early Nov) and it made such a pretty centerpiece. Used our lemon topiaries in our 10″ white wicker planets with fresh lemons and our etched hurricanes to complete the centerpiece (all from my shop)

Look to the colors of your elements you are using to dictate what to do in the center for flowers (or plants). You cannot underestimate using a big bowl of apples, pears or other fruit. Pretty little green topiaries. A big bowl of lemons like what I did here, you would be amazed at how many creative arrangements you can come up with!

Again its thinking outside the box and not being afraid to experiment. I didn’t have real kalanchoe,  so used my faux and no one would ever know. Then I realized I had a few branches of fresh greenery so added that and it gave it the perfect finishing touch, really loved the way this came out!

I have seen people use a big container and  place a basil plant in it as part of the centerpiece. Always be willing to experiment and try new variations. You never know what genius idea you might come up with!

Side note, this is my new favorite sparkling rosè HIGHLY recommend!

 

If there is one thing I can suggest,  it is to get your market shipping done 1-2 days ahead and to prepare as much as possible the day before/morning of. I will wake up early and do a lot that morning, all my cheeses and crackers will be laid out, any chopping that needs to be done, vegetables washed and cut, etc….

For this lunch I was making bronzino, I washed the filets, seasoned them and put them on wax paper with olive oil on the baking sheet ahead of time so they were oven ready when I needed to cook them, cutting down on any prep is a big time (and stress) saver!

I always lay out all my silver serving pieces ahead of time too, one less thing to think about!

Small cheese board all done!

Some of my favorite cheese crackers

Love when I come up with a cute idea for how to serve/display something. I took our cane votives and used them as individual little crudite containers, how cute and so Covid friendly! I filled  the small votive halfway  with humus then the rest with thinly cut vegetables. Healthy and pretty!

Another little serving tip I love is I adore using my many mint juleps for food, I will use them for nuts, crackers, candies, anything edible….they are a sure fire way to elevate your entertaining prowess!

Click here if you want to see the previous 7 posts on Entertaining Diaries

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Well,  there you have my latest ideas on entertaining for a small group. I hope bigger gatherings will be in my future but I really do enjoy small intimate  get together s, as you really get to mingle with everyone and there is something really nice about that.

Hope you you enjoyed the post. Have some entertaining ideas of your own? Would love to hear about them, leave in the comment box. Thanks for stopping in, wishing everyone a fabulous day!

Second day of our amazing tabletop sale, so many beautiful new goodies. Click here to view

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Mary Judith O'Malley on

Thanks for inspiring me! I love to have a few friends over for a meal. We are still being careful, but I see entertaining in my future. I love your recipes, and will be sure to incorporate some of them! Thanks again for brightening my day!

Franki Parde on

You broke the code…I use “Boursin” in soups, dips, gravy, potato salad, corn bread…haven’t done cake…yet. franki

Sue M on

You are so good at this! Born to do it! your arrangements are always so beautiful and that lemon table is incredible. Your friend must have felt so special. LOVE the criuditè in the votives- so clever Tina!

Cindy J on

You are not alone about a beautiful tablescape. If I’m planning even 2-4 people for lunch or dinner, the list making sheet comes out. Menu and table and of course some real flowers mixed in. It’s my joy.

Benesse on

All very lovely–picture perfect.
But in these hyper health sensitive times I am a bit apprehensive about all these hands digging into communal snack bowls and fingering cheese and crackers and veggies in a cup. I might opt for individual bite sized hors d’oeuvres where all one had to do is clean reach for one and instead of “building” one.

Katie Clooney on

Another fabulous post, Tina. You should write a book! Have a great week!

Janice on

Pet peeve.. entertaining of as a guest.. cold food like a salads, chill the plates.. hot food.. heat the plates.

Carol on

I recently had a fabulous appetizers. Fresh figs cut in half with goat cheese with honey. Top with candied pecans and a drizzle of honey. Easy, pretty and delicious.

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