We have a little book club in our neighborhood. We meet once a month and whoever is hosting gets to choose the book. My wonderful sister-in-law gave me a copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society last year. I took a while to read it because it is written as an epistolary novel. And I've never liked reading the narritive of a book in letter style, but I couldn't have been more wrong about this book. I really loved it! And you learn to love the letters and the characters that wrote them. If you are looking for a great read with history and a little romance for good measure then you will love this book.
I loved the book so much I wanted to do something special for book club and since it has been so lovely weather wise here I decided to set up a dinner in the backyard. I wish I had better photographs of it but since I was cooking, setting up, and decorating all myself, I barely finished in time! So I only took one or two as I was setting up and then one as we started eating.
The book takes place on the channel islands just off the coast of England during and after World War II so I wanted to base the dinner on that. I had purchased vintage linen table clothes at Round Top for just ten dollars a piece, so I used those on the table and added some strips of burlap. I used my plain white dishes for the plates and serving dishes. For place mattes I found file folders of the world from Cavallini on sale you can find them here. I also used silver placecard holders that I bought ages ago from Dear Lizzie on a visit to Utah but have never had the chance to use. I think it added a little elegance to the mix of shabby I had going on.
The center piece was all from Marburger Farms and I can't really take credit for it because Jill had it set up in her booth just like this. It consists of a wreath with a factory gear on top of that, a white plate, a vintage linen napkin and a flower arrangement in a mason jar on top. I have to say I asked Mark to pick out white flowers from Central Market on his way home and he designed this bouquet himself! Isn't it pretty? Who knew he had such amazing flower skills!
I wanted to add a lot of candle light because the dinner was going to be at night so I added lots of votives and these little buckets that I filled with sheet moss and taper candles. I got mine at the Pottery Barn Outlet but I've noticed that Target has similar buckets to these occasionally in their dollar section.
Here is a quick look at how it appeared at night!
Mark hung lights in all the trees and I made garlands out of an old reciept book, vintage World War II photos, some tags from Seven Gypsies, mini clothes pins and twine. Really simple to make but it made a huge difference.
For the food I served Quiche Lorraine taken from Stephmodo's blog, it's always a hit. With spinach salad, fruit salad, cucumber sandwiches, and pink lemonade. For dessert my very kind neighbor brought over cupcakes and I had one at each place setting on these cute stands! I wish I had a photograph of them I'll take one soon and post it. One always needs a new reason to bake cupcakes!
Hope this gives you ideas for your next party!