My family has a summer cottage on a remote island off the sunshine coast of BC, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to enjoy it every summer of my life. As the cottage is totally off the grid, relying on solar power for electricity, visiting is free of the normal distractions of TV and WIFI. The result is that there is more time for hanging out and being present with family and friends. My absolute favourite thing to do at the cottage is to host outdoor family-style dinner parties. It’s so cool to scavenge around the cottage and find unique pieces to set the table with, it’s a time to have fun and be resourceful and not to worry about things being too precious.
Here is my supply list of what I use for creating a laid-back summer dinner party, no matter your location.
What you will need:
Runner or table cloth- you can be super resourceful here, if you don’t have a traditional table cloth, use an interesting printed bed sheet, or plain canvas or burlap.
Centerpiece – find a beautiful vase or pitcher (I always keep an eye out at vintage stores for pieces to add to my collection)
Napkins and placemats – if your table cloth is printed, try to use something more neutral or vice versa.
Flowers and greenery – what is naturally growing around you? For this centerpiece I used salal flowers which grow like weeds in our back yard.
Flatware – Don’t be concerned if they don’t match!
Glassware- Water and wine glasses
Napkin rings – or improvise like me and tie twine around the napkins in lieu of napkin rings.