Entertaining, Seasonal, Spring

9 Lighter Takes on an Elegant Spring Luncheon

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Winter is over and spring’s re-birth signals that it’s time to start entertaining  with a capital “E.” For many (like me) that means a refreshing take on a traditional approach…lighten up, consider some options you may have dismissed in the past. In other words, no more “same old, same old.”

  1. For starters, try a new location in the house — this approach gives you a fresh outlook, stretches your imagination and intrigues your guests. At Parterre, the salon’s library table has seldom been used for more than Christmas day dinner (or serving buffet for dinner parties).

2. Make a floral statement in the entry hall for arriving guests (remember, everyone’s been in the winter doldrums) and continue this floral statement throughout.

3. Choose a centerpiece that celebrates the season. Since ours is a French house, I chose an antique Gallic wire basket to gather some spring color offerings and continued the small flower groupings across the table on a bed of moss.

4. Think color coordination when designing the menu (asparagus soup is a favorite first course, while a rich lemon-y tart concludes the lunch).

5. Choose china that plays enthusiastically on the floral theme (Herend’s “Fruit and Flower” was wedding china that has stood the test of time).

6. Dress up your chairs with color appropriate “shrugs” (made from leftover pink linen cut into  strips and woven between the backs).

7. Use humorous party favors to keep the light spring mood and sense of fun.

8. Be on the lookout for fun place cards (tassels on anything  are must-haves for me) and using them eliminates confusion at the table as to where someone is sitting (which can detract from the conviviality).

9. Finally, cut down on prep time…and think outside the box. This celadon green “silk” tablecloth is actually a shower curtain that I found on sale; the size is just right for the table and I didn’t have the expense or long lead time of having a cloth made.

Happy spring entertaining!

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

2 thoughts on “9 Lighter Takes on an Elegant Spring Luncheon

  1. Bettie, you are a true inspiration to me! Having a luncheon tomorrow and this article was just in time! Sally in Fairhope, AL (but from your home town in Arkansas)

    1. Oh, I’m so glad…what perfect timin. Hope your luncheon was “loverly” down there in Fairhope. And of course you know my dear friend, Susie McGowin?!

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