Having been a house guest a few times this summer, as well as a hostess, I’ve enjoyed gathering thoughts for each role…as well as some favorite images of “privileged precincts” (as my witty friend, Eric Haskell, likes to say). Think of this as my annual ode to house party entertaining, a follow on to summer observations from past years (you may wish to refer back to 2016’s “Summer House Parties:13 Tips for the Gracious Host and Perfect House Guest“). Inspiration came from many sources, some even unexpected for me…but yet another reason to accept an invitation to be a houseguest.
Greet guests with a first impression of bounty from your garden.
Plan a party! Sunday luncheons are my favorites…poolside ideally. Love these color-themed mini-parasols from Thailand that accent the table linens from Jaipur (gifts that Kelli Delaney, founder of KDHamptons, received from her sister, Kim Hopkins) and play so well with the fun pool “toys” to amuse.
Everyone’s summer plans can go haywire at the last minute; make a dinner reservation for your guests as a back-up. On a Saturday in the Hamptons that was forecast to be drenching, the afternoon and evening turned tropical and beautiful. The setting at St. Ambroeus in Southampton was idyllic…a series of pergolas extended the length of this wide pass through, accommodating 32 tables in a long row. Instant Chic!
A multi-talented artist friend in Amagansett has her fanciful watercolors made up as note cards for a take-home reminder of the weekend.
While these mini bottles of bubbly were offered for a “sip and shop” experience at Alice & Olivia on Job’s Lane, imagine what a festive surprise they would be awaiting house guests in their fridge.
Share a special talent for accessories and add them to your guest suite…like Lucy Cookson does with her colorful tuffets and super-sized tasseled pillows.
Include a makeup towel helpfully identified so polite house guests don’t feel guilty using your good (and usually white) bath linens (Pioneer linens).
Don’t forget a signature touch that I love…a bouquet of luscious smelling flowers next to the bed…like roses or sweet peas; all the better if they are near a window where the breeze can enhance their fragrance.
House Guest Gifts (and Notes)
A good image of the host/hostess within a setting that is special to them (Dr. Mark Kot is deservedly proud of “his” garden).
Unusual and personalized beach towels (ie. house name, funny saying, host’s name) for pool or sand are always welcome!
TIP: A hostess’s request…please water the flowers arranged in your room so they continue to look fresh for your stay.