Garden Party With Theresa Crim
There is something extra special about entertaining outdoors.
We can’t think of anything better than the feeling of a gentle evening breeze in the garden and the warmth of the setting sun on your shoulders while sipping a crisp glass of wine and digging into a beautiful meal shared with friends. Garden parties are the perfect end of summer event because they are casual, accessible, and easier to pull off than your average dinner party. Using the natural backdrop of a lush, abundant garden landscape, these gatherings can come together effortlessly in just a short amount of time. We reached out to some of our biggest inspirations for outdoor entertaining to get their best tips on how to throw the perfect garden party.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where your love for entertaining stems from.
I grew up on a farm in southern California - I am naturally drawn to throwing together seasonal food from the farmers market! My mother is French, so enjoying food and wine with friends and family was and is a HUGE part of my life. I am a farmer French girl.
What are your top five tips for hosting an outdoor gathering?
1. I always put a white table cloth down! It will make any environment feel like "something is going on here that is special." I've reused a cotton/linen muslin cloth FOR YEARS! It's super durable and easy to clean and you can find yardage for really inexpensive at most fabric stores.
2. Keep it simple and seasonal.
3. Let people share with their hands - serving platters on the table to be passed, whole loaves of bread and let people pull apart! Baguettes look much better as is, than sliced.
4. Candles are the best light for any evening - flowers and branches from the yard are best for the tabletop.
5. Let the wine overfloweth.
What essentials are always on your table for any outdoor party?
Any season staples: wine, bread, whole fruits for dessert, a spanish tortilla, and of course cheese!
Do you prefer serving plated, family style, or buffet style for your al fresco meals?
Family style for life!
What are some entertaining staples you always have on hand for easy, impromptu gatherings?
Tinned fish, a good hard cheese, dried squid ink pasta (great with a bunch of herbs and EVOO), stash of wine and always amaro for after dinner.
How can someone new to entertaining find confidence in hosting a gathering?
Make a great playlist! I have a "Dinner is Served" playlist, and I swear when it starts to play everyone is ready to make dinner and have fun :) Music makes everything better!
What’s your favorite part of planning an outdoor gathering?
Thinking about what to make for dinner.
What are your favorite ways to set the scene for an outdoor gathering?
Tablecloth, candles, flowers, and everything is ready to go when people arrive so I can just relax.
Now that you’re ready to host your own Garden Party, remember that the most important part of any Garden Party is the people...and maybe the wine 😉