Spending an evening with friends is always a delight. We love having dinner parties. Now that our children are mostly on their own, it's strictly an adult affair that lingers long into the night. We start out with appetizers while standing around the kitchen table and countertop while I finish last minute preparations.
Then we move to the table. Tonight I'm planning a French-style dinner. I love trying new recipes and then decorating the table accordingly. I've grouped a cast iron Eiffel Tower with a sandwich-style menu board, some candles and I may add a rose in a silver bud vase.
Making the menu board was easy. I had my husband cut 2 pieces of thin wood (5 x 7 inches). I hinged them in the middle with a piece of cardboard (4 1/2 x 3 inches) that I scored in the middle for a hinge. I glued the cardboard to the back with white carpenter's glue, placed a book on top to make sure it all dried flat, then painted it all with chalkboard paint. The boards stand well on a tablecloth, but for a smooth surface I think I'll glue some ribbon on the inside to prevent the two sides from splaying out.
I tied a little bit of black and white polkadotted ribbon around the pillar candles for a bit of pattern. Tied in a simple knot instead of a ribbon makes them "not too sweet."
I have votives set around the room. I resized a photo of the Eiffel Tower and printed a bunch of them on patterned vellum, then wrapped the vellum around the votive holder.
For place cards, I'm using brushed-silver toned picture frames found at the dollar store. Pale pink parchment with handwritten names is easy to do.
And here's the place setting. Pale pink tablecloth, black napkins, creamy white china and sparkling crystal. I love a pretty table!
Oh, the menu...
Cheese crackers, shrimp and sundried tomato pesto on cucumber slices (appetizers in the kitchen)
Asparagus in a light vinaigrette (1st course)
Cold Avocado Soup
Roasted Chicken with Thyme and Dijon mustard
Julienne of Carrots, Zucchini and Leeks
Green Salad (with cheese)
Apple Purses with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream