Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Garden Party

I decided this weekend to have an impromptu dinner party to welcome back some neighbors who moved away 9 months ago and missed the neighborhood so much they moved back!  (Please excuse the wrinkley tablecloths.  I DONT iron my linens)
The weather was great.......my Muskoka chairs freshly painted in a color inspired by my favourite OPI nail polish color "An Affair in Red Square"...........
The flowers were blooming and vibrant.....  I put out the word there was to be a garden party.... and pronto, we had 15 confirmed guests.....By 5 pm, they had all bought wonderful wines and thrown together cheeses trays, pasta salads, proccuito wrapped breadsticks and I had bought burgers and sausage and made potato salad and a couple of cakes.  It's not hard to throw together a last minute party if you keep it simple.  I always accept offers to bring something and I buy pre-cut veggies and hummus and pitas for appetizers. I bought the burgers already made into patties and sliced up big wedges of tomatoes and onions and cheese to go on top.
We have a long thin patio that is far better suited to entertaining than my dining room.  I can easily seat 25-30 people along here..
We hauled out the fold down tables........
I "decorated" with pots of geraniums, my vintage silverware and pink cotton napkins.....
I used purple veronica and chartreuse hosta in old milk bottles for centerpieces.....
.........The locust tree in the yard drops little green buds when the weather gets hot......it looked like I had sprinkled green confetti over the table. People thought I had done it on purpose until they left with their hair full.   I had to invert the wine glasses so we didn't drink the bits....
We put up the hammock for those who needed to lounge..... 
 I use old sugar bags for pillow cases on the hammock pillows. 
 My Gracie girl just wouldn't get out of the picture....she knows when those tables come out that food will be dropping all night.....(that map isn't usually on the fence...it was a gift from our neighbor...a garage sale find and map of our cottage area)
I picked some "Sum and Substance" hosta leaves and petunias from the garden...no need to buy flowers when the garden is bursting..... 
I decorated the cake with pansies from the garden..... This is a favourite cake of my friends and neighbors. It is the Cupcake Cafe Vanilla cake and I posted the recipe here.  We all just call it Ky's birthday cake as it is my daughter's favourite cake.  It makes a huge cake.  I served it with a bowl of fresh raspberries, strawberries and blueberries lightly sprinkled with organic sugar to extract the juices and bring out the flavours.   All you need for these 2 deserts is flour, sugar, vanilla, chocolate, buttermilk and about 5 lbs of butter......
 I also served this dense gorgeous chocolate cake.  You can find the recipe here.  I often keep to the same recipes, the ones I know will work every time and are easy to do.
 Our friend always wears his garden party shirt when invited over here....

It great when a large group gather on short notice.  Everyone springs into action and tosses together their favourite dishes, music and enjoys the start of the summer party season.......


  1. What a beautifully set table, and your newly painted chair is lovely.

  2. Chania, what a gorgeous table setting you created!!! I adore your pink cotton napkins. What lucky friends you have to be spoilt so beautifully by you:) Hope you are having a wonderful start to your week. Oh and I love your Gracie girl:)~ Tina xx

  3. I am so jealous Chania! You have a gorgeous backyard, wonderful neighbours and fantastic weather! I can't wait for the warmer weather to come back! Your impromptu party looks lovely. xx

  4. How lovely. I would be accepting your garden party invitation very quickly too. And your outdoor area is just charming.

  5. You have a wonderful space for entertaining! I love how it all came together on the spur of the moment. It looks like it was a delightful party. That red adirondack chair is lovely, as are the pink napkins!

  6. bloody hell - I want to move to your neighbourhood! What a good friend you are - it's a beautiful soiree.

  7. Hi Chania! You are amazing! Everything looks simply beautiful! It would take me weeks to make a garden party and you did it in a snap. : ) Ah, to have your talent!!!!
    Health and happiness,

  8. That is some thrown together party! The table looks lovely - especially the napkins. You have such a good eye Chania - I know I have said it before but you do! Louise x

  9. oh how very kind of you to do that Chania...and so beautifully done it was!

    it looks like something you'd see on the roof top in a movie scene!

    well done!

    thanks for sharing your hospitality has made for a wonderful post!

    come by for a spot of tea

    ciao bella
    happy tuesday!
    creative carmelina

  10. After watching Holmes on Holmes, Sarah Richardson, JIm Caruck and House of Bryan, I can get a feel of how your backyard looks. Especially with the brick house....Your backyard looks like it just came off TV. I was thinking that I loved your rumpled linens, and then the next sentence was an apology for them being rumpled. What a great neighborhood and a great host. CHEERS!

  11. Love the pillow in the chair. Both the chair color and the fabric pattern are perfect. The rest of the party reminds me of courtyards and outdoor restaurants in Beirut. Everything designed to have guests linger.

  12. Impromptu parties are the best though I don't think they're always as beautifully styled as yours. Everything at this party was perfection, even your 'rumpled' tablecloth, which added to the casual yet stylish look. You are a master at making everything look so easy, yet these are often the hardest looks to pull off. Of course, I just love that pillow and red adirondack chair. Glad to hear your weekend was so good.

  13. Chania, it's so nice to have a place like yours where gather with friends. Love it, and love the table!! Also, thank you so much for your encouraging words, you really warmed my heart xoxo

  14. Chania,

    Of course the party looks like perfection, but those desserts stopped me in my tracks. have to go back for those recipes. What I really enjoyed is your explanation for the table confetti. I have a pink silk tree that towers over my party tables and drops these puffs of pink fluff. I curse them all spring and summer.

    You have given me a new perspective and from now on I will embrace them as party table confetti and will inform my guests as such.

    I'll bet the Hawaiian shirted friend is a blast.

    Your friends are lucky to have you.


  15. Tom, in Canada we would "call shoddy" on the hammock. I understand you because I am English!

  16. I don't believe I've ever seen such a beautiful impromptu garden party in my life Chania. You are amazing and that pillow in your adirondack chair made my heart skip a beat.

    Guess what??? I found out I am only about 5 hours away from your shop so I might just be paying you a visit this summer.


  17. What a beautiful party! Looks like so much fun! I wanna go! Have a great day! ~lulu

  18. nothing like a party on the patio!!

  19. Good food, good friends and the perfect setting. Looks like a great time was had by all.

  20. That looks like a fantastic day! And everything looks so gorgeous, i bet your guests were impressed. Love the pink chair, so cool! julesx

  21. Your table setting and backyard are beautiful! What lucky friends you have to be able to do this.

    It was great meeting you the other day Chania!

  22. This is the first time I've visited your site Chania and that looks like just the kind of party I'd like to go to. I can't be doing with a lot of faffing. Good friends, good food, good wine and a brilliant atmosphere - oh and I noticed the hosta too - got a few different varieties in my garden as well.

  23. Oh dear!! what a lovely party and gorgeous settings!! That cake decorated with pansies was absolutely adorable.. I may steal the idea, do you mind??
    xo Flaviana
    P.S. oh! I don't iron my linen either :-)

  24. It's great to see another person from Ontario in blogland! I stumbled upon your blog through another and I've been reading it for a good bit now. I love it!


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania