Your Ultimate Guide to Summer Entertaining
It’s time to take out those printed linens.
Without a doubt, summer is the perfect time to call some friends and family members, chitchat, and bask under the heat of the sun. Put on your favorite cool, refreshing fit-and-flare dress or a flowy maxi skirt to get that summer vibe going! You can have a pool party, brunch at the patio, or a small gathering in your garden. While you might need to invite fewer people this year and take extra precautions, having a summer soirée is not entirely impossible.
With our tips on how to entertain guests this season, you can have an enjoyable and safe gathering.
Selecting a location is crucial given today’s climate. Social distancing is of utmost importance, so you might want to pick a location where you and your circle have ample space to move around.
Perhaps the best option is to gather them outdoors in your backyard or garden if you have one. There, you’d have a bigger space to plan your table and chair settings.
Don’t have an outdoor space? Fret not! You can still strategize and welcome your guests inside. If your dining room is wide and spacious enough, you can entertain them there. However, you might need to do some rearranging so the chairs won’t be too cramped together. A spacious living room makes for a good hosting area too.
Don’t shy away from colors for your table. Summer is the best time to go all out in trying vibrant and fresh colorways. Swap your classic white tablecloth to blush, yellow, mint, or lavender shades for a dose of tropical tones. You can also opt for printed linens, such as florals or light stripes to give a tropical vibe to your soirée.
Another chic choice is to use plain white linen and accentuate the center with a table runner or a lineup of dried florals.
Napkins and placemats should be in tune with your theme and your tablecloth’s color. When mixing and matching, a tip is to study which colors go well with one another. For instance, the classic blue and white combo that depicts class is an all-time favorite. Yellow, white, and green combination makes for a lovely tropical-themed tablescape too. Don’t be scared to experiment with textures and patterns.
For your dishes, try mixing and matching plates in various patterns. If you’ve chosen a more vibrant tone for your table, opt for lighter-colored plates, and vice versa for a plain tablecloth with subdued tones.
Flowers are another must-have. If you have a flower garden, you can cut down on party costs by picking a few flowers and creating your own floral arrangement. For thin flower bundles, you can display them using a uniquely crafted metal geometric vase.
Should you decide to source your flowers from your local florist, here’s a pro-tip: you can never go wrong with hydrangeas. Not only are they stunning, but they also add more color and vibrancy to your tables. Since hydrangeas usually grow as shrubs, they will look good in a low, clear glass vase.
Summer entertaining is more laidback compared to other gatherings throughout the year. A tip is to go for a lighter menu. Impress your guests with scallops as entrée, fresh pan-seared halibut with a side of coriander and carrots for your main course, and a light sorbet for dessert. Have light, finger foods ready for your guests who love to nosh.
Grilled meat is a go-to during summer. What better way to bond with people close to you than to get the grill going under the warmth of the sun. Choose your protein and go for a seafood platter, beer-marinated grilled steak, or sweet and spiced grilled chicken. These will surely make their tummies and palettes happy.
Make your sides simple, light, and fresh. Our suggestions are romano beans tossed in vinaigrette, corn slathered with basil and butter, and fresh garden salad.
For a healthier option, opt for whole food plant-based meals that are easy to prepare. Grilled ratatouille pasta salad, vegan burgers, or grilled cheese tacos will definitely be a favorite among your health-conscious friends.
Drinks to serve
Summer is the perfect time for a delightful smoothie for the kids and vodka-based drinks for adults.
Give your guests options by preparing an array of freshly-made smoothies. Watermelon is particularly popular during the summer for its invigorating fruity punch. But if your guests love their drinks sweet, a mango smoothie will tickle their tastebuds just enough to give them the sugar high they’ve been craving for.
Keep your alcohol light and refreshing. You may concoct gin- or vodka-based cocktails for a refreshing drink, or serve champagne or chilled white wine. Both options are perfect for flushing out the summer heat while transporting you and your guests to the tropics.
Don’t forget to have cold water available too.
Tunes to play
A summer soirée will not be complete without music. Have a good playlist ready to liven up the scene. Make sure to have tunes in different genres so there’s something for everyone. If you want to keep it vintage and classy, you can flex your vinyl record collection for some good old classic music.
If you’re debating about what music to play, we suggest that you craft a playlist that takes your guests’ music preferences into consideration. You can also give your visitors the freedom to choose what song they want to chat or dance to.
To wrap it up
While recent events can be draining, it does not mean that you should just idly watch as summer goes by. Spending time and hanging out with family and friends is an effective way of releasing stress and forgetting about all of your concerns for a while.
By making use of resources you already have at home and taking advantage of your creativity, you can definitely plan the perfect summer soirée. Just be sure to always keep your guests’ preferences into consideration and party safely.