Easy Entertaining: Summer Garden Lunch


White Ceramic Buffet Plate | White Ceramic Round Platter | Glass Tumblers all from Sophie Conran

Whenever the weather permits (I live in Ireland, so it's not necessarily that often) I jump on any opportunity to eat outdoors! I don't know what it is but everything tastes better al fresco - it must be the fresh air.

Summer Garden Lunch

For this garden lunch we have chosen food that is easy and quick to prepare, perfect for anything from a lazy Sunday brunch to a light dinner in the evening. The menu on the day was a fresh Easy Panzanella Salad (head here for the recipe and how to video), a cold meats and cheese platter, fresh sourdough bread & an elderflower and mint lemonade. There is also something sweet for dessert in the form of a doughnut & macaroon tower - it not only looks gorgeous and colourful but also doesn't take any time to prepare.

Two Tier Cake Platter from Avoca

Large Handled Band Board from Sophie Conran | Gold Cheese Knives from West Elm

You can see, that we went for speed of preparation - only one dish is actually "cooked" (in this case no real cooking involved, as we made a salad but you get the idea...) the rest is more of an assembly job. This is always what I opt for when if I'm entertaining during the week or simply don't want to spend hours in the kitchen (more on how to create the perfect cheeseboard coming soon!). I also like to have some drinks prepared for my guests and if we are not having cocktails I usually prepare a lemonade. Here we went for an elderflower cordial from Belvoir, some sparkling water & a few mint leaves. Easy and delicious!

Elderflower & Mint Lemonade

And then all you need is a nice and simple table setting, I love white tableware and simple glass, a couple of easy flower arrangements in mugs and some candles.

White Ceramic Tall Mugs from Sophie Conran

TOP TIP: When you are eating outside make sure you can serve all the dishes at once to save yourself having to run back and forth to the house if you can!

Have a look at our Behind The Scenes Video of the photo shoot!

What is your favourite "outdoors food"?

A & B. xx

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Christmas DIY - Beaded Heart Napkin Rings

DIY Beaded Napkin RingsI love making homemade presents and decorations - it's the Martha Stewart in me. That is not to say I am particularly good at it... I have no patience, I cannot write or cut in a straight line so my predispositions aren't great but I thought coming up to Christmas I will show you a few little and easy DIY projects. It's a great way of making lovely, thoughtful presents and decorations on a budget. There is lots of different beaded decorations on Pinterest but this one I found in a magazine. It's pretty and practical too - gotta love that!

You will need only a few things: thin silver or gold wire, a ribbon of your choice and small beads. The colour choices are up to you (I also made some golden ones). I went for a gold wire and silver beads as our Christmas tree and table will be themed around these colours. Other than that you will need scissors and depending on the flexibility of your wire you may also need pliers.DIY Beaded Napkin RingsThe first step is measuring out around 20 - 30 cm of your wire (depending on how big you want the heart to be) and bending it in half so it makes a V shape, like on the photo below.DIY Beaded Napkin RingsAnd now for the slightly fiddly part - getting the beads onto the wire. I just tip the beads into the lid and spike them onto the wire, it really doesn't take long. Make sure you make a little loop on the end when you are finished one side, so the beads don't slide off while you are studding the other side of the heart (I learned that the hard way - beads everywhere!!!!). Once you are finished and both sides look equal to you, tie the two ends together and shape your heart by pushing down where you tied the two ends together. Once you are happy with the shape make another little loop so you can slide the heart onto the ribbon.DIY Beaded Napkin RingsAnd that is pretty much it. It takes no time at all to make and looks absolutely stunning. I will be using these as napkin rings on my table this year but they would make a fabulous present as well. You could get some linen napkins and tie each one with one of these gorgeous napkin rings. They would also look gorgeous as Christmas tree decorations or tied over the neck of a nice bottle of wine you are presenting someone. I find that these would also make beautiful and inexpensive decorations for wedding tables, hen nights, etc. The possibilities are endless! DIY Beaded Napkin Rings DIY Beaded Napkin RingsLet me know if you enjoy making your own presents : )

A. xxx