Picture this: you’re entertaining on your patio on a perfect summer evening. You’re calm as a cucumber, the food’s delicious, and the table looks simply delightful.
You just smiled, didn’t you? For most of us, those nights are precious and few.
So precious in fact, that too many of us get intimidated about hosting a gathering of family or friends. But it doesn’t need to be stressful. Follow a few simple guidelines, and you’ll easily set the stage for a perfect entertaining performance.
To pull off the beautiful, delicious party everyone remembers, keep it simple. My sister-in-law once gave me perfect advice: a great dinner party needs five items. Ideally, one item you would make with your guests during the party (think—seasoning, shaping and grilling the hamburger patties). Two items would be prepared ahead (could be a salad and an assortment of burger toppings), and easily finished at the last minute. The last two items are purchased from the store, and are basically ready-to-serve (maybe you’d rather buy a potato salad, and serve ice cream for dessert). Five items add a nice variety but maintain the simplicity. Guests feel pampered and yet the host or hostess isn’t stressed.
But beyond the food, it’s time to set the table and plan the serving dishes. This is the fun part. Think memorable. Whimsical. Delightful. When we’re setting our serving table, we want it to be captivating. So bright, fresh, and full of careful details, our table speaks for itself and tells family and guests they’re being pampered, and in for a wonderful evening.
At NEST, our favorite go-to serving dishes come from Nora Fleming. These dishes can’t help but bring a smile with their unexpected detail, fully of whimsy and fun. Switchable themed charms – stars & stripes, football helmets, flowers, birds, snowmen, evergreen tree, or so many more choices –grace the edge or corner of a Nora Fleming serving piece. The charms can be switched, turning a 4th of July Chip n’ Dip, into a Christmas cheese array with crackers. Simply pull out the charm, and replace it with another as you change events from summer parties to holiday festivities. Nest literally stocks dozens of options for these collectible charms.
The charm is the memorable detail, but the versatility of Nora’s pieces can’t be over-stated. Most of the serving pieces or décor items are ceramic, and could even be chilled ahead of time to help keep cold foods cold. But a few of the key serving items are melamine—break resistant and lightweight – and ideal for carrying out to the pontoon if the patio party moves to the lake.
From its very beginnings, Nora Fleming’s distinct tableware is the result of love & family. Created as a family business, Nora’s own words describe it as, “the harmonizing of a brother and sister’s distinct skill sets to achieve one goal – to bring joy to every table and every event.” Nora Fleming serving dishes and home accessories aim for happiness, smiles, and unforgettable memories with just a little bit of magic in their design.
Nora’s Keepsake Boxes are the perfect gift for anyone with a Nora serving or décor piece. Fill it with charms, and it’s like an invitation to future parties. Birthday parties. Baby and Bridal showers. Halloween treats. Holiday gatherings. All events sure to keep making you smile.
We hope you fill your summer with all kinds of wonderful gatherings of family and friends. Cheers to a fabulous summer!
As a self proclaimed “retail nerd”, Sue has been in the retail business for over 20 years owning and managing specialty gift stores in west central Minnesota. She and her husband love to travel and explore unique destinations. While doing so, they also gather ideas to bring home. Sue and Doug have three grown children and live in Perham, Minnesota.