Meet my Guest:
Sarah from A Beach Cottage
My friend Sarah, from A Beach Cottage, lives on the beaches of Sydney, Australia. Quite awhile back she found 4RE, she read my entire blog in a couple of nights, and then she was inspired enough to get back into the groove of entertaining.
If you want to visit her refreshing blog, she is one talented lady who I always find so inspiring. She has simple, beachy tablescapes and always a great message.
Thank you Sarah, for being my guest today. I'm happy that I was able to help you out of your entertaining funk, and I'm happy to call you friend!
Here's Sarah's story ...
A few years ago, but a whole lifetime away, in our beautiful house in England, I used to host events in our home - parties, dinners, casual meals with friends. And then when we moved to the other side of the world, and for a whole lot of reasons I was out of my comfort zone. Having people over when I felt like this was completely out of the question, and so I stopped.
But as a girl who loves to cook, who has a million cookbooks, and likes to play hostess - it was not a good place to be. So I decided to bite the bullet, as I had to get over this hurdle - so I invited people over, knowing that everything was far from perfect.
And it all went swimmingly and I didn't really look back, though I have to say I am still a tiny bit choosy about who I invite over, but that may change.
For me, how I think about having guests for dinner is key to getting it right. Thinking 'entertaining' conjures up scenes of stressed-out-women-with-souffles in the kitchen. I'd rather like to think about having friends over for a casual meal.
And simplicity is key, because who wants any more stress? But more than just simplicity for me is the mood - depending on life, schedules, budget, and time. And although I like simple, I too like effort. I don't know about you, but walking into someone's home when they've made some attempt to set a table, perfect or not, and light a few candles, makes me feel good.
Since I'm entertaining again, I have found I love to dress a table, an unexpected leisurely little bit of creation at the weekend that is just not an option for the hurly-burly of our week nights. In fact, on nights during the week, it is just about all I can do to get a dinner on the table, let alone one that has been dressed up to its eyeballs. I refuse, however, to let time, or lack of it, dictate my enjoyment of doing the table on the weekend, which is why I keep the dining part as simple as possible.
I follow a straightforward interchangeable menu, something like this - easy dips or deli-bought specialties to start, something like a roast chicken with basil and lemon plus roasted onions and red peppers (all easily shoved in oven) plus green salad, followed by an apple tart which even the most challenged baker like me can do.
Which leaves me time to do what I enjoy - dressing the table - rather than panicking in the kitchen, stuffing mushrooms. Although you'll quite often find me running round like a headless chicken, just before the doorbell rings, trying to find the square white candles...
Do you enjoy dressing up the table ahead of time?
Come back tomorrow, here on 4RE, for a very special $200 GIVEAWAY!