Do you know how to set a girl back a few years? Two kids plus Christmas. When it is requested that you make homemade fougasse for the school potluck, plus knit the entire set of Nativity costumes, you get waylaid. Two days ago, I sent the kids off to school with 24 squawking chickens dressed as cupids. Maybe I only sent 23. Sorry Sabine, you don’t get a Valentine chicken. I’m a little tired.
But never too tired to throw together a dinner party! Since February is the saddest month of the year (Heart Month, Stroke Month, God every month has some sort of disease it commemorates) what better time to invite friends over, pretend it’s June and throw an indoor garden party? Here’s my tablescape game plan. Yes, you need a game plan.
1. Bring in some greenery. Having Christmas decor up in February is considered loutish, so I tore apart my boxwood wreaths and wrapped the fronds around the pendant lights in Pepito’s studio. They look like Marie Antoinette dipped her tresses in emeralds. Gorgeous.
2. Lighting. You simply can’t go wrong with lots and lots of votives. Knock “dinner party fire” of your list of fears and chuck them everywhere. Candlelight is cheap and makes Steve Buscemi look like Audrey Hepburn. Your guests will thank you.
3. Fabric. A simple runner is always a classic choice, but since my reclaimed wooden table is so beautiful, I didn’t even lay one. Try to stay away from tassels, sequins and ruffles. Monograms are okay if you’re Richard Branson or the Queen of England, but everyone else should just lay a beautiful, crisp linen napkin. I have to go off on a tangent now, and talk about the plate charger. They have become HUGE. Meaning in girth and weight. What is this phenomenon? If you’re shouting at your dinner guest because there is four feet of space between you, that thing is too big.
For this latest gathering I made Pepito dumpster-dive for soda bottles, and then Christophe gathered white ranunculus from the greenhouse. Yours truly found the chalkboard placemats and lovely Gilles hand-lettered our guests names. Haven’t thought about the menu yet, but those details will work themselves out, loves. The table is SET.