We love to have people over for dinner -- sometimes we plan way ahead and send proper invitations by mail while other time we decide on the spur of the moment to invite company for dinner.
It was the latter last Saturday for on Thursday, we decided that we'd like to have company for Saturday dinner and so phone calls were made. I prefer six (or four guests) because all the chairs match and we don't have to put any leaves in the table but . . . sometimes we decide to invite more than two other couples.
Saturday was one of those times. Eight were invited for dinner and so on Saturday morning, as Husband Jim went to the city to get our entree, I cleaned house. Upon his return, we put the leaves in the table and then we set the table. It is a joint effort -- I do china and silver while Husband Jim does glassware.
I always love the house when the table is set, the food prepared and the house has the quiet expectancy that it always does just before company arrives.
Often, when we put all the leaves in the table -- we'll angle it a bit so that it's easier to get around.
And since it was summer and since it was impromptu . . .
We decided on a simple setting -- the Spode Blue Room plates, my hotel cutlery, a blue napkin in one of my silver napkin rings, a classic red wine glass, one of my silver birds holding the place cards and, of course, a menu for the evening. Dessert fork and spoon above the plate European style.
And a simple centerpiece as well . . .
My new Spode Camilla vegetable tureen in the center flanked by my artichoke tulipieres into which I put yellow mums from the market. Because the mums looked the most like garden flowers (but because of the horrible heat, there aren't much in the way of garden flowers!) and two silver candlesticks which were the light of the evening.
The artichoke tulipiere holding the yellow mums. I use them more for other flowers than for tulips but I think they're the perfect flower holder for a dinner party because they're low -- a low arrangement is a must for a dinner party.
And the menu . . .
Baby lettuces tossed with vinaigrette and topped with panko coated and fried coat cheese rounds.
Moroccan style lamb shanks with potatoes and peas and Farmer's Market tomato provencal.
With a good crusty bread and rosemary butter.
And, of course, there must be dessert . . .
A blueberry tart. A new recipe from Martha Stewart -- it has blueberries cooked down to an almost jelly, fresh blueberries coated with the jelly and then on top of that fresh blueberries.
And pure blueberry flavor for only sugar and lemon juice and zest were added to the fruit.
It was the perfect summer dessert -- served on Blue Italian salad plates.
Everyone had a good time, the wine flowed (which always indicates a good dinner party) and we hated it when our guests bid us goodbye.
It's Thursday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.