As a native of Summerville, SC, the home of Flowertown Festival and one of my favorite cities in the low country, there is nothing I love more than hosting an outdoor party. Especially when I get to host that party in my hometown and in a gorgeous home courtesy of Nexton (click here to learn more). From the traditional lowcountry styles homes (more double porches than your heart can take) to the beautifully landscaped parks and gardens, this community was the perfect place for me and my husband to have an afternoon dinner party. With spring here and summer right around the corner, here are 5 tips for hosting a modern dinner party.
1) Get some inspiration from the Internet. If you are attached to your cellphone or tablet, Nexton is a perfect place to explore as your low country home. Equipped with GigaFi Internet, exclusive to Nexton and over 100 times faster than the average internet connection, you will always be able to access the latest in healthy eating tips and even watch a video if you need a little more help as you prepare your dinner party. I always start with Pinterest and Instagram to get inspired and then head to YouTube for a quick tutorial, especially if it is a recipe I have never tried before or involves baking. Not to mention this a great time to compile your dinner party playlist which is not complete with southern inspired music.
2)Place The Table: This is my favorite part of hosting a party, with over 20 antique and unique shops just miles with Nexton, I had all the inspiration I needed to shop for an outdoor dinner party. When hosting a modern dinner party, be sure to try bold colors and patterns and melamine is your best friend. Not only is durable for outdoor elements but it also looks beautiful. For this party, I chose a red, white and blue color scheme, which is perfect for a summer party. Make sure you grab your essentials including, serving ware, utensils, plates, serving dishes, bowls, glasses and napkins. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and styles and tie it all together with a theme or color palette.
If you are looking for more decor tips be sure to join me a May 14th for a Mother’s Day event from 12-2 where I will be in attendance and can give you some last minute brunch tips and summer entertaining ideas.
3) Try Something Healthy: One of my goals for 2017 is to live a healthier life and that includes better eating habits. As much as I love traditional southern food, I admit it is just as fun to find ways to incorporate some of my southern favorites into a healthier version. By adding in whole grains versus pasta for cold salads you can save a ton of calories and adds lots of flavors. Not to mention using light mayo or even homemade mayo can make your favorite chicken salad recipe stand out in the crowd and lighter on your calorie counter. Thankfully, lima beans and butter beans with a dash of olive oil are not only very southern but also very healthy and staples in my healthy living dinner party menu. If you are short on time, Nexton is close to tons of catering and gourmet stores that can prepare or prep your meal. Here is a snippet of our fun outdoor meal.
4) Mocktails and Wine Selection: No outdoor dinner party is complete without great drinks. I always have options for wine lovers and for those who love a great mocktail. If you are looking for an easy yet refreshing mocktail, a citrus such as mandarin or oranges paired with sparkling water is the perfect drink for your southern guests. For wines, you can never go wrong with a great muscadine wine (for a true southern hostess) or a soft red. Even more important make sure to mix your drinks in a fun pitcher for an added element of design to dinner.
5)Enjoy the Outdoors and Indoors: The weather is great in the low country and so is the scenery. From beautiful flowers and trees, Nexton also provided us stunning architecture. These homes were the perfect backdrop to get inspired for a dinner party. The mixture of modern and traditional architecture is perfect for a southern hostess to indulge in before guests arrive. Not to mention a tour of the neighborhood and model homes is a great way to get to know your guests and learn more about Summerville and Nexton. Click here to see some of the beautiful floor plans and designs.
I hope you are inspired to host a dinner party this summer and if you are, I am here to help!Make sure to join me at Nexton, May 14th on Mother’s Day. The event will be held at the Greeting House (106 Greeting House Road). I look forward to seeing everyone and, indulging in Sweet Lulu’s cupcakes and you will also have a chance enter to win brunch courtesy of Nexton at Cannon Green in downtown Charleston! Not to mention you can tour five beautifully decorated model homes plus a variety of move-in ready homes and I will be giving out answers to all of your entertaining questions.
Images by Nicole Caudle Photography