Summer Entertaining

The best thing about dining outdoors in the summer is that it can be as simple as a few burgers off the grill with a large jug of swizzle or as fancy as a filet mignon served on your best china. Either way, you will find yourself dining al fresco at some point. If you are anything like us here at IPN then I am sure you are looking forward to spending time outdoors with your favorite people – and food is always the common ground. Here are a few tips to help you enhance your no-rules summer dinner party no matter how formal or casual it may be!

The Menu

It only makes sense to start here right! Think fresh, think local, think creative. You know that beautiful garden you started through quarantine? Start there. Think of the ways you can incorporate your homegrown herbs, fruits and vegetables into your signature dish. Or head to your local farmers market and indulge in the goodies the vendors have to offer. Try getting your hands on my favorite seasonal commodity – Bermuda corn. It is absolutely delicious and one of the most multi-talented vegetables known to man.

The Setting

Tablescapes and simple accessories make a big difference. Everyone likes comfort and a wow factor no matter how simple your outdoor dinner endeavors may be. Put a little effort into making your table look great. Placemats can add texture and style to the look of your table. If you’re catering to a more intimate group, try using cloth napkins or decorative dishcloths as opposed to paper napkins – I’m sure the tree giving you shade would be thankful. Keep the pests at bay by using natural citronella candles or head back to your garden to pick a bunch of rosemary and mint to add it to your table centerpiece.  Add pops of color to your tablescape by placing a mixture of whole and halved citrus fruits. Not to mention, the combination of herbs and fruits will smell great!

Dinnerware & Glassware

There’s a new kind of “plastic” in town. Melamine and bamboo dishes are perfect for dining outdoors. Not only are they durable and reusable they are trendy too! One of my favorite shops on Par-la-Ville street carry an array of melamine and bamboo dinnerware at a great value. Acrylic cups are also on our must-have list when dining outdoors. They enhance any backyard BBQ and you won’t have to worry about broken glass – insert picture of toddler here – and way more environmentally friendly than disposable cups! You can find a bunch of styles and colors to match your desired theme too!

I think we have covered all the basics to get you started. If you’re new to this and it all still seems a little overwhelming, you can always reach out to your local dinner party enthusiasts to help you get you started.

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