With Labor Day Weekend on the horizon, we wanted to share some end of summer dinner party inspiration & ideas so that you can close out the season with a stylish (and delicious) bang! If you want a fancy look, menu & libation selection but don’t want to exert a large amount of effort, we’ve got you covered.
Outdoor Dining Accents:
Dress up your table with some easy accent pieces like a colorful tablecloth or runner. By infusing some vibrancy into your outdoor space, you can easily and affordably make it more inviting and appealing.
Let there be light! Add some scented candles, strung lights or decorative lanterns to your al fresco dining area for mood and ambiance enhancement.
Hanging and potted plants make people happy. These natural accents not only add color to an outdoor atmosphere, but they also quite literally add life! Dial it up a notch by housing them in handmade macrame wall hangings from a local creator like Drifter & Bloom.
Summer Menu Ideas:
Start your soiree off with something light & refreshing like a Grilled Summer Salad. Featuring an array of seasonal vegetables, including zucchini, bell pepper & fresh corn, this dish is elevated with the addition of a simple lime vinaigrette.
Trying to think outside of the box? Create an international theme for your end of summer dining experience! Consider offering an entree like Seafood Paella to your guests. This classic Spanish meal is a filling, easy one-pot dish that typically contains ingredients like shrimp, white fish and a variety of spices for an aromatic kick.
If you prefer something aside from seafood & have the urge to fire up & take full advantage of summer-time grilling, throw some Halloumi Skewers on the barbie! Halloumi is a style of cheese from Cyprus that has a very high melting point, which makes it the perfect cheese for grilling. Our recipe pairs it up with a Greek-style couscous salad that features kalamata olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
Creating an Ideal Outdoor Bar Station:
Whether your outdoor bar area is a permanent structure or a simple pop-up, here are a few ways to make sure you’re utilizing your space as effectively as possible. First things first, make sure you choose a sturdy table to house all of your precious libations. Consider wind and other natural elements as you put forth your plan. Secondly, ensure water is available and plentiful. With New England heat waves becoming the norm, access to hydration is critical. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, make sure your bar is set up 15 minutes prior to guest arrival. It’s important that it’s clear to them that the libations are there for the taking, and immediately!
Now let’s get down to brass tacks. From icy blended cocktails to refreshing pitcher drinks, we can help you with what to serve at your libation station. Here are a few of our favorite summer recipes:
- Fruity cocktails are synonymous with warm weather. Kick off your party with a batch of welcoming Watermelon Sangria or a cool, light cocktail like a Cucumber-Honeydew Freeze.
- Need company while you’re manning the grill? How about a spicy concoction like an Amante Picante Margarita or a rum-min inspired drink like a classic mojito!
- Want punch without the punch? You can find a library of luscious liquid recipes here!
Have a unique recipe, cocktail or outdoor accentuation tip you want to share? We’re all ears!