As much as I enjoy cooking and entertaining, I don't entertain, truly entertain, all that often. But when I do...I pull out the stops. Two weekends ago, we had a nice little gathering, 6 of us total. If you want to get into the business of entertaining, I think there are two things to plan on. 1) Plan a menu that can mostly be prepared in advance so you don't have to spend all your time in the kitchen otherwise spending time away from you guests. 2) Prep and organize in advance so you don't forget something. Figure out what you are serving and what dishes you'll need. What serving utensils will you need? Do you have the glasses you need?
For four people, I had the entree plates, salad plates, forks, knives and spoons. Coffee cups and ramekins. There were antique crystal champagne goblets for when our guests arrived. Wine glasses for dinner and wine glasses for an after dessert tasting. Don't forget water glasses. I also had some of the serving platters.
For Christmas, I got this book for table settings. I had to try out a special fold! This was the "shield."
I preset the table a few hours before the guests were scheduled to arrive. The wine was put out a few minutes before they arrived. Pitcher of water. Bread basket. BTW, the table line, is the inspiration for the paint we'll be working into our dining room in the near future. Yellow. With blue accents and a few pops of red. Very Provencal.
During dessert. All that was left was wine, coffee and creme brulee! That's only about seven actual bottles of wine. One unique way to have water on your table...recycle wine bottles. Wash them out, remove the labels and voila! Pre-fill them and keep them in the fridge before the party.
Stay tuned over this week for the menu & more photos. It was a great dinner and I look forward to the next one. This was a French theme...I'm curious what the next theme will be?!?!