Summer Dinner Party Tips

Summer Dinner Party Tips

It has been one year since I launched my first design so midsummer felt like the perfect excuse to celebrate with a dinner party for 30 friends. It was quite an undertaking at home in London, so read on for my tried-and-tested ways to ensure things run smoothly...
Raj Tent Club pergola

TIP 1

Make Plan B Your Plan A

British summers are notoriously unreliable. At first, I toyed with a dinner under the stars but realised the weather forecasts would grip me with panic for at least a week before! Instead, we created an inviting space outdoors for drinks and had the reassurance that dinner would be indoors (see next tip!). This pergola is rented from Raj Tent Club - each element can be customised - from the ceiling light to the colour of the drapes.

TIP 2

Outdoors Indoors...

...And vice versa. We brought the indoors outdoors by moving our furniture into the tent, adding cushions and even scenting it with incense from Forest Essentials. In the same way, I wanted the ground floor to feel romantic in that heady, high summer way. I created a canopy using my Jaipur Bloom print hung from hooks in the ceiling. Drapes in the same fabric dropped to the floor. The fact our furniture was outside (and at neighbours' houses!) meant we had space for a long table to seat 30.

Floral centrepiece in pink and green

TIP 3

Summer Seasonality

Everything always begins for me with what's in season. The food will be sweeter, juicier, saturated in colour. Likewise for flowers, and they will last longer too. June is a gift of a month to be celebrating in the UK. Wild At Heart helped me choose the best British blooms to arrange: three types of peonies, garden roses, sweet peas, all intertwined with the greenery of birch, mint and astrantia.

TIP 4

Sharing & Serving

As this was such a big group, I leant on the talents of Martin Keane, co-founder of Woodsmith, to chef for the evening. A real treat for such a special occasion! Our approach to the menu was much the same: colourful, seasonal, plentiful. Martin cooking on fire using Woodsmith's cooking woods was a showstopper! They work with farmers in South West England to produce natural, unrefined cooking woods that even impart flavour onto the cooking ingredients.

We served everything on platters so that people could help themselves.

Food served and cooked by Woodsmith

TIP 5

The Tablescape

This dinner launched my new Peony Stripe tablecloth design with its cerise and peach block printed flowers over a pistachio green stripe. Pink and green lends itself well to summer parties. The plates, glasses and cutlery are all rented from The Social Kitchen who have a rainbow of colours to choose from. I especially love the green marble dessert plates. Vintage cutlery was tied in grosgrain ribbon (the colour is 'rhubarb' from VV Rouleaux). Cerise pink candles at undulating heights. And finally, hand-painted menus... They took me a very long time!

TIP 6

The Details

A few final ideas that never go unnoticed:

  • A glass of something chilled the moment your guests arrive. We served Mirabeau La Folie Sparkling Rosé with viola flowers dancing in the bubbles and pink bows tied around the coupes.
  • A little thank you. I wrote messages of why I love each guest inside their name card.
  • A surprise: I made flower ice balls for the Mirabeau ice bucket!
  • Fresh soap, lotion and pressed hand towels in the bathroom. We used the Indian rose products from Forest Essentials which scented the room for days.
  • A final flourish with two puddings: triple chocolate brownies and a towering birthday cake.
Naked flower sponge cake with berries, roses and peonies

Thank you to everyone who came and to everyone who made it possible. A labour of love for many weeks!

And most of all, thank you to those who have made this first year a success: Braj, Shivina, Devisha, George, Will, Kila, Georgia, to name just a few.

Credits

Table linens, floristry and event styling: Rosanna Falconer

Photography: Georgia Meramo

Catering: Woodsmith
Rosé wine: Maison Mirabeau
Flowers & flower crown: Wild At Heart
Plates, glasses, cutlery rented from: The Social Kitchen
Tent: Raj Tent Club
Event scenting: Forest Essentials
Candles: Candle Flair
Dress: Temperley London
Earrings: Boodles

This event includes PR loans and partnerships. With huge thanks to all of these brands for their support to make the evening possible.

The Journal

All customers will receive a menu card printed with Rosanna's Jaipur Bloom design.

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