I think we can all agree that nothing says summer quite like listening to the sound of the water, feeling the sand between your toes and watching the dune grass sway in the breeze. I recently returned from a trip to the beach, and I couldn't let the summer slip by without sharing the details of a dinner party I hosted on the beach last summer.
When the opportunity to dine on the beach arises, I am the first to volunteer to participate. I like to start my dinners on the beach while it is still light outside, leaving the candles unlit. As the sun goes down, I light the candles both on the table and around the table for a beautiful glow.
For this party, my husband and our friends carried the teak table and chairs down to the beach for our special sunset dinner. Raynaud's "Cristobal" pattern china seemed a good choice for the evening. I love its color and pattern, and I especially love all of the different pieces that it has. Each piece has a different pattern, some with coral-colored background with white accents and others with a white background and handpainted coral branches. My favorite pieces in the group are the sea urchin-shaped salt and pepper shakers set on a small square tray.
Simple crystal glassware perfectly complemented our tabletop. A centerpiece of curving driftwood fitted with small containers for tea light candles added to our simple beach look. Large chunks of coral, some set into Lucite bases, added color to the center. Beautiful gold-colored seashells filled in other spaces, and highlighted the gold accents on the china. A set of antique glasses with handblown coral accents served as vases. They are filled with sand to help the blowing dune grass stay standing tall.
When serving dinner for special guests outdoors, be sure to think through what their experience might be from start to finish. For example, if it gets chilly on the beach where you spend your holidays, it is a nice gesture to have a pile of pashminas or warm wraps in a basket nearby so your guests can put them around their shoulders as the sun goes down. You might even hang one over the back of each guest's chair and give them as party favors to take home at the end of the evening.
It's also important to ask yourself, could guests ruin their shoes in the sand? At my dinner party, I asked them to trade in their shoes for flip-flops that you provide at a "shoe check."
I hope you enjoyed seeing the details of my summer dinner party. With just a few more weeks of summer left, I am hoping to entertain on the beach as much as possible!