The vision for this June party is super clear in my mind. It's one part French Riviera, one part Palm Beach. Very laid-back, chic, and European. I'm thinking rattan furniture, fresh oranges, and tortoiseshell. I think this party is meant to happen on a garden patio or inside the house with all of the doors and windows open. It certainly requires fresh air and a soundtrack of crickets.
MAKE IT EASY: Outsourcing Parts of the Meal
You've probably heard this tip from the likes of Ina Garten, but it's a good reminder. When you're having a big dinner party (or even just a medium sized one), making all of the dishes can get overwhelming, especially when you have appetizers, cocktails, a main dish, sides, and desserts to think about. To make things easy but still very special and high-end, choose one to three parts of the meal to outsource. You can pick up dessert from a local bakery, a pre-made appetizer from the market, a side dish from the deli, or even a bottled drink like sparkling lemonade.
DRINK OF CHOICE: Aperol Spritz
This is one of my favorite, refreshing summer cocktails and it adds an elegant, European vibe to your party. Just combine Aperol, prosecco, and seltzer then add ice and orange slices.
HOSTESS GIFT: Citronella Candles
Remember the old citronella candles you'd find outside in the summer to keep the mosquitos away? They always smelled good to me but tended to be kind of ugly as they were often from hardware stores. There are so many cute citronella candle options these days and they make for a great gift. Check out this, this, or this.
DECOR STAPLE: Vintage Tableware
In Palm Beach a few weekends ago, we ate outside at Pizza Al Fresco and they serve their drinks in the most beautiful blue glassware. I love the idea of vintage blue glasses for this summer party, paired with gold candlesticks and other mismatched glassware. Pop into your local thrift store and you'll have no trouble finding some beautiful, inexpensive pieces to make your tablescape more interesting.
EASY APPETIZER: Marinated Mozzarella
This may be the easiest appetizer ever and it's so good. Literally all you need is mozzarella, olive oil, and herbs like oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Combine the herbs with salt and pepper in a bowl, then add olive oil. Drizzle this over the sliced mozzarella and let it marinate for twenty minutes before serving on its own or on crackers.
In keeping with the blue-and-white look, pair a soft white t-shirt with a denim wrap skirt and flat leather sandals. To pull the look together, tie a patterned silk bandana around your neck or use it as a hair wrap. I chose one that's blue-and-white to keep the color palette going, but you can also use this as an opportunity for a pop of color with something like this or this.