Hi friends, did you see our pretty outdoor breakfast table setting yesterday and on The Daily Meal? Today we are sharing the pictures of our dressy outdoor dinner table using the same basic pieces from our breakfast table (pottery, chargers, flatware and outdoor table and chairs.)
The BEST part of summer is dinning outdoors but it doesn’t always have to be casual BBQ red cups and disposable plates. En plein air dining with real plates, cloth napkins and the clink of nice glassware is a whole new level of summer dining. When I was young my mom would set a pretty table on our back porch a few times a summer and make a fresh pasta for dinner. It felt so special to break our everyday dinner routine and sit outside on a warm summer night.
Sarah and I set the table with her Pottery Barn Rattan chargers, wobbly edged Simon Pearce plates and bowls and stunning Match Pewter flatware. A Libeco runner connected the dinners across the table on a ribbon of flax linen and Tiffany candlesticks glittered in the setting sun.
Once the foundation was set we studded the table with magenta dahlias in simple mini milk jars turned vases and filled one remaining vase with fresh mint to keep things fresh and fuss-free. Our pièce de résistance were two crystal Saint Louis goblets from Sarah’s father. He collects 2 beautiful goblets a year for her from his travels and presents them on Christmas morning. Her collection over the years has grown to to accommodate a Jane Austen sized dinner party at Lady Catherine’s house I believe. Such a lovely tradition.
Will you be toting your breakables outdoors this summer? We hope so!
Sweet Mint Tea
by Lydia Ellison
My mom’s best friend is named Laura and she came into my life when I was 10 years old. I looked up to Laura so much as a young girl because she wore a hot pink bikini to sun tan in her suburban driveway on the weekends, she loved Madonna and she drove a white Camaro. My brother’s and I loved the nights when Laura would come over and her and my Mom would make shrimp and scallop stir fry for dinner (not the highlight of the night for me) and Laura would tell us animated stories about her day at work and let her brush her long hair. She was like our cool big sister.
Of course I am still thankful to Laura for teaching me the Vogue dance but more pertinent to my life these days is her recipe for Sweet Mint Tea. It was her Grandmother’s recipe and Laura always had a pitcher of it in her fridge. My mom has been making this tea to much acclaim for the last 15 years and always has a pitcher in her fridge now, made with fresh mint from her garden. Now that I am about the age Laure was when she first came into our life, I notice I too have a pitcher in my fridge at least once a week (though I use a natural sweetener instead of white sugar). Once you try this recipe you will too.
Sweet Mint Tea
makes 1 pitcher
2 or 3 bags of Black Tea (I like PG tips)
4-5 sprigs of fresh mint
the juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of Agave syrup or 1/3 cup of sugar
Fill your pitcher with boiling water and add tea bags and mint sprigs and the Agave syrup or sugar and mix until dissolved. Allow to seep on the counter for 30 minutes. Remove the tea bags leaving all of the mint leaves in the tea and add the juice of one lemon stirring again. Allow the tea to cool down before you put it in the fridge overnight. The tea MUST chill overnight in the fridge where it will get slightly murky and fantastically potent. Serve over ice.