I love entertaining. Always have. Did any of you ever watch the tv show “Friends”? It’s one of our all-time favorites. In fact, we have the entire series on DVD and have watched episodes over and over and over again. I identified with Monica the most: very type-A personality, control-freak, somewhat neurotic type of person! HA! One thing about Monica that I feel we particularly share is our desire to always be the hostess! Always! Don’t get me wrong, I do love being invited over to other people’s homes and enjoying their food and company without the pressure of having to host, but for the most part, I LOVE being the hostess. And not only that, but I love being the hostess and going slightly over the top. It’s really a hobby of mine: setting up a dinner party with the right decor, the complimentary food and opening my home to welcome and bless people.
In the last year as we’ve really settled into our new life in the GTA, we’ve unfortunately allowed ourselves to get so busy that we haven’t taken time to really open our home in this capacity. So this summer, we’ve decided to make a concerted effort to host some of our friends, in a grand way! We’ve made a list of dinner themes that we love as well as friends that we’ve been meaning to have over, and we are starting to set dates to make these parties happen.
For our first one dinner party, we decided to go Greek! Greek food has to be one of my favorite cuisines. I credit this to my mother-in-law. She is an excellent cook and ever since Chris and I started dating, almost 14 years ago, she’s been introducing me to all kinds of new foods. I can remember the first time she made a full Greek dinner for me, two things happened: 1. My tongue burned from the amount of garlic I had just consumed and 2. I decided that that was the best meal I had ever, to-date. And since my hubby and I have been married, we’ve tried to our hand at mimicking that amazing Greek dinner. So it only seemed fitting that for our first official dinner party of the summer, we kick it off with Greek!
To start, hubby and I set the menu. I will share the recipes in a separate post but here’s what we decide on. Sidenote: Chris created these menu’s and I am SO happy with how they turned out! I think it’s really special to create a dinner menu. It shows your guests that you put some extra effort into the dinner party and it also lets them know what to expect throughout the night. Now I realize that not everyone has the ability to make menu cards on there own, so below, in the shopable links, I’ve included a menu card that you can purchase and fully customize!
Once the menu was set for our Greek Inspired Dinner Party, I was able to then plan out my table decor. I checked out our local HomeSense and was so excited when I found little faux olive trees, with olives on the branches! I also found this lovely piece of driftwood that I felt really anchored the entire tablescape.
I then added an assortment of both real and fake flowers as well as some lemons and limes to complete the look. For me, when I’m designing an event, I try not to be so literal with my designs. So for this one, the literal design could have been blue and white (the Greek colors), complete with Greek block lettering and so on. I decided to approach it differently: I knew olives were going to be a big part of the meal and are a staple in Greek culture. So for me, the olive was the jumping off point for this design and it inspired all of my decor choices. I finished the look off with tying sprigs of rosemary and sage and placing them on the menu cards, for a little added touch and delightful smell!
I then set out my fine china and silverware and set the table. One thing I want to note here is fine china for children. Actually those two phrases should never be in one sentence together: fine china and children. They just do not mix. But what do you do when you want to have a nice dinner party, include the kids and not have their plastic Ikea plates in the set-up?! Enter Corelle dishware! This stuff is genius. It is pretty much kidproof! They can be rough with it and it won’t break. Well actually, it may break, but it’s really hard to break it. Even if they do manage to break it, my heart won’t be torn in two because they didn’t cost me a small fortune like my Wedgwood Fine China set did. So if you are wanting to include the kids in your next dinner party, don’t think you have to compromise on style just for their sake. Invest in some Corelle dishes that match your fine china and make them feel included! I’ve included a shopable link below where you can find some!
I also like to give my guests a little gift when they come for a dinner party. For this party, I had found an idea online that I shared about in this post. I just love the look of this rosemary olive oil. I found the bottles at my local dollar store and simply filled the jars with olive oil and put a sprig of rosemary in them. Again, I didn’t want the kids to feel excluded, so I also picked up a few little toys for each of them to bring home.
I really am so pleased with how the tablscape turned out. It was so fun to design a really special night with our friends. Now, I will say, that we don’t do this every time we host people over. Some times it’s pizza or BBQ burgers and paper plates. But I do think there is something to be said about setting up a really special dinner for you and your friends. Life is short. Use the fine china, break out the silverware and enjoy community around your gorgeous table while you can!
Finally, I wanted to leave you with some shopable links so that you can create your own Greek inspired tablescape at your next dinner party! Just click through each link and enjoy the freedom of shopping from the comfort of your own home! Stay tuned next week when I share some of the amazing recipes we had at this party!
Love & Blessings,