I put out a call on Instagram to ask the people what they wanted to see more of on the blog. Several folks weighed in requesting more dinner party ideas. Well, if you know me at all, you know I *LOVE* a good tablescape and curated dining experience.
From the playlist to the menu to the lighting, I like everything to be just so. As Fall is rushing up on us, cooler mornings and crisp evenings, I thought I would provide some suggestions for how to host an incredible, intimate dinner party with your bubble that will carry you through this transitional season and well into autumn.
SETTING THE TABLE
Let’s start by setting the table. I am providing some inspiration for my ideal autumnal tablescape below. As you can see, I’m reaching for some warm neutrals that don’t smack of the basic bitch “PUMPKIN SPICE” that seems to overwhelm Pinterest boards every September-November. I wanted a sophisticated palate of terracotta, warm greys, and gilded accents.
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SHOP THE LOOK
I’ve focused on curating a table setting that creates contrast through rich textural interplay instead of playing with the colour wheel. This is a sophisticated and timeless look that works well regardless of the season. This could be a great option for an upscale and restrained Thanksgiving tablescape – not a gourd in sight.
SETTING THE MOOD
Okay, so the table is set and the candles are lit, now we need a little music to enhance the AMBIANCE. In one of the latest novels we read in book club, one of the characters referenced loving Fela Kuti.
I’d never heard of the musician so queued up a playlist on YouTube Music. I immediately fell in love with the sounds of this Nigerian multi-instrumentalist. Fela Kuti passed away in 1998 but pioneered the Afrobeat music genre which draws influence from jazz, funk, Ghanian highlife, psychedelic rock, and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Since discovering Fela Kuti, his music is now the backdrop for all my social get-togethers where I want an upbeat and social atmosphere.
Here is the link to my favourite Fela Kuti radio station on YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=6K8IldVALPw&feature=share
SETTING THE MENU
Now that the table is set and the music is playing, let’s turn to the menu. What shall we serve to our closest friends in our social bubble?
I always like to greet my guests with a cocktail. Give them something to sip on and something to snack on to keep them out of the kitchen as I put the final touches on dinner.
Some great welcome cocktails for your consideration:
And how can we keep the people from getting too sauced on the opening cocktail foray? Good snacks of course. Some ideas:
- Warm Fig & Brie Tart with Walnut Crust
- Apple & Blue Cheese Tartlets with Icewine Glaze
- Truffle Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes
- Phyllo-Wrapped Baked Brie with Cranberry Compote
- Butternut Squash & Chorizo Skewers
Okay, the people have been fed and watered – what are we doing for mains? Cooler nights and sweater weather call for rib-sticking food that warms the soul. Here are some of my favourite dishes to serve throughout the fall:
- Curried Beef Pot Pie
- Four-Cheese Chicken, Kale & Sweet Potato Cobblers
- Butternut Squash, Kale & Goat Cheese Phyllo Pie
- Smoked Sausage Minestrone
And because I am a firm believer that every meal must be served with dessert, some sweeter notes to finish on:
- Pecan Bourbon Carrot Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifles
- Bourbon Apple Cake
- Pumpkin Coconut Cream Tartlets
- Baked Apples with Warm Cider Caramel
Once dinner is done, make sure to get one of your guests to do the dishes. The ones with social anxiety tend to be the easiest targets ;-).