Summer Entertaining Ideas
Summertime arrived in a flash this week in Connecticut; I wasn’t ready for the high humidity or days in the 90’s; I personally need to ease into weather changes. Today felt great though, it was 82 degrees, sunny, and much drier. Even our customers at the store felt relieved today too. People were commenting how excited they were for the better temps and for the opportunity to do a little summer entertaining outside too.
One of the best parts of summer are all the opportunities to gather with friends and family. There’s graduation parties, bridal showers and of course 4th of July, Labor Day, family reunions, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings… and during this post-pandemic year, you are almost guaranteed to have lots of invitations -and you might be hosting yourself! So, take a moment to find all of your summer entertaining wares and fill in with Piper and Dune’s Outdoor Dining Collection. You will absolutely love the carefree, lightweight, bpa-free, melamine dishes that you can put right in your dishwasher. A couple of new pieces can freshen any table and they make great hostess gifts too!
To help with your next party, here’s a few tips*:
- Pick a Theme Do you want a New England Clambake, a BBQ, a Seafood Extravaganza, a Mexican Taco and tequila party or a sangria and tapas party? Choosing a theme helps you narrow your choices and focus on the menu and beverages, as well as the decor. Whatever you choose, be sure to keep things light, fun and casual. It is summertime.
- Decor There’s nothing that can set the tone of your party like the decor. You can cut some branches, blooms or other greenery from your yard or garden and it’s free! Just because you want to set the mood doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money. Try something simple like just one bud with a little greenery or a nice bowl of fresh fruit or a fresh pineapple on the table. Decorative lanterns, bees wax candles and of course those jars you’ve been collecting of sea shells and sea glass can come in handy too… you get the idea. I like to throw some big clear strands of lights outside too. People love the look and they serve as a nice source of light too.
- Create a Beverage Bar A party isn’t a party without some refreshing drinks and cocktails. Keep your guests happy and easily refreshed by setting up a designated beverage station. This way your guests can easily fill up while staying cool, hydrated and happy and they can serve themselves! Don’t forget to pick up some Camp Craft Cocktails; with 12 flavors you will have so much fun infusing a new recipe - just add your favorite spirit, let them sit 3 days in the fridge to brew, add something bubbly if you wish and you have an amazing and fun new beverage for your guests. I guarantee they will be a great conversation starter too.
Put out a nice ice bucket, decorative bucket, or coolers and fill them with plenty of ice. Then fill them with cans of sparkling water, sodas, spiked seltzers or local beers so guests can grab and go. Don’t forget to keep a batch of ice in a cooler on the side (you will go through more than you think you need!) You may want a pitcher of tap water with some fresh lemon or other fruit as well. Garnishes, mint and bar tools too *we have some great ones in our home goods section). Pick a signature cocktail (a best seller at the store is always sangria, mojitos or the pineapple jalapeno). We have some great cups, glasses and other beverage items as well. Place a set of coasters out to keep them from dripping on the table. Keep white and rose wines chilled on ice.
- Plan a No-Fuss Menu The great thing about entertaining in the summer months is that the menu doesn’t have to be complicated. We all enjoy lighter food options in the summer so think about serving in-season salads, cool dips with veggies, and light appetizers to keep your guests satisfied. Check out some of our cookbooks for inspiration! For an impressive presentation, I love to serve my appetizers on these gorgeous wood serving trays, Plus, they make whatever you serve on them look gorgeous.
If you are serving seafood, be sure to check out our line of Toadfish seafood friendly products!
- Mason Jars Make Instant Summer Party Fun There’s really nothing you can serve in a mason jar that doesn’t somehow make it instantly better. They’re charming, adorable and super functional. Not only can you serve a refreshing summer drink in them but they also make a great vase for flowers or a unique way to store your utensils and napkins on a buffet table.
- Keep your guests comfortable and bug free, play some fun music, have some outdoor games set up and place a few blankets or throws in a basket should it get a little chilly (my friend Janine always does this and it’s always appreciated!)
Enjoy being together, it’s been a really long time since we’ve been able to socialize in person!
Explore What Excites You,
Chris and The Piper and Dune Family
P.S. If you are looking for a nice leather gift for your Dad or Graduate, we have 35% off all MAHI Leather, valid through June 20th, 2021. Be sure to check it out. You will love the quality.