I am very cut and dry when it comes to months and seasons. I know that technically summer doesn't officially begin until June 21st, but from my perspective June 1 = Summer. In light of the fact that Summer is officially here, it is time to start thinking about entertaining essentials for the Summer season.
Summer is all about the outdoors. Going to the beach and enjoying the warm weather (**if you live in DC, replace warm with aggressively hot weather). Below I have put together a list of my top 5 entertaining essentials for enjoying a picnic at the beach or simply dining al fresco in your own backyard.
You may recall from my Cocktails Served in the Garden post, I talked about my experience during the Lilly for Target event. I was fortunate to come out of that event with a beach blanket (especially since many customers left empty handed). This wasn't an item that I would have normally purchased, but since it was all that I was able to obtain from the event I happily bought it.
Never in my wildest dreams did I every think I would get so much mileage out of a beach blanket! In addition to its traditional purpose (using it as a blanket for the beach, I have used this blanket as an impromptu picnic tablecloth and for hosting a cocktail party picnic in my backyard. This beach blanket will most certainly continue to be an entertaining staple for me this Summer. Since my Lilly for Target Beach Blanket is currently sold out, here are two other fabulous beach blanket options to consider: (Beach Blanket #1 and Beach Blanket #2).
Staying true to form with my undying love for all things chinoiserie, these melamine plates (pictured above) are an absolute must. For those of you who haven't heard of melamine prior to this post…it's just a fancy word for plastic. What makes melamine great for outdoor entertaining is that it's durable, resembles actual dinnerware, light in weight for easy transport and very budget friendly. My set of melamine plates and serving dishes are from Nicole Miller Home, which I just so happened to come across at my local Home Goods (love that store!). Since the inventory at Home Goods can be somewhat unpredictable, here are links to two other great melamine options -- here and here.
Yes way Rosé! Rosé wine is certainly all the rage right now and I have enthusiastically jumped on that bandwagon. Miraval is a Rosé that I have been loving lately. It has a lovely bouquet of white fruits, strawberries and floral notes. There really isn't anything more refreshing and delicious on a hot summer day than a crisp, chilled and delicious glass of Rosé wine. Fun fact about Miraval Rosé - Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie partnered with the Perrins (one of France's leading wine producing families) to develop this Rosé. Additional Rosé recommendations include: Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé and Salmon Sancerre Rosé.
There is nothing more charming than a picnic basket when entertaining outside. That being said, picnic baskets can be a little cumbersome to carry and have a limited about of storage space. This past winter, my husband and I were gifted with the most fabulous canvas tote (complete with monogram) from Queen Bee Studios. During the winter we found the tote to be quite handy when traveling on long car trips because it could easily fit in all sorts of spaces and had a very large carrying capacity. Now that it is summer and outdoor entertaining has picked up, I have found this canvas tote to be the most fantastic picnic tote and family beach bag. The reinforced nylon handles along with the durable canvas bag make it easy to carry large quantities of stuff (and entertaining essentials) with incredible ease. As a side note, Queen Bee Studios also makes the most fabulous handbags. This monogrammed linen/faux grass clutch is one of my favorite summer wardrobe staples.
An entertaining essential for any time of year, the napkin! Whether you are hosting a simple cocktail party, luncheon or even a full sit-down dinner, napkins are necessary. When thinking about outdoor entertaining, I immediately think practicality. Pretty paper disposable napkins or casual cotton picnic napkins that can be easily laundered, are go-to choices for me.
- Picnic Cloth Napkins- for a more formal picnic look, I am a big fan using casual cotton cloth napkins. Since my melamine dinnerware is blue and white, I have selected these blue picnic napkins. Other great picnic napkin options can be found here and here.
- Paper Luncheon- a more casual napkin option for outdoor entertaining during the summer months. Paper luncheon napkins like these and these are functional, aesthetically pleasing and disposable.
- Paper Cocktail- Brightly colored Caspari cocktail napkins like these and these, are a great addition to serving summer cocktails.
While this may only be the beginning of many Summer-themed blog posts, these entertaining essentials will provide you with a great foundation for revving up your summer entertaining.