Years ago, I did grand treatments in my dining room, hanging branches from the chandelier and other feats. While I didn’t want to go that far, I did want a showy statement on the table. Shana, a neighbor of mine who is a florist, stopped by to style grand bouquets, made with real oak tree branches and bittersweet. I sat and ate pizza out of the delivery box while I marveled at the way she manipulated these big branches until they looked perfect.
The table’s center was the perfect place for this beautiful old scale I found at a little antique store a while back. I put some mini pumpkin gourds on the scales for fun. Then, I finished the look with bouquets of fresh flowers.
Marsee has taught me the fine art of making every guest at your table feel special. It’s the little touches that make all the difference. Like setting the table with your best china and crystal, welcoming each guest to her seat with a personalized place card and menu, having the guest of honor’s favorite music playing in the background. This kind of pampering makes you feel a bit like royalty.
Whenever I entertain and want the food to be out-of-this-world delicious, I turn to my friend Tracy, who is a professional chef. Tracy pulled together a divine menu that was as delicious as it was beautiful to behold. I wanted to use the sweet gold handled bowls that go with my antique china, so Tracy built a menu that included tomato basil soup and marinated figs on bruschetta.
The afternoon ended with this sweet treat. But the sweetest moment of all was lingering with these ladies after lunch, hearing their stories, laughing and relaxing in the comfort of good friends. We all left that afternoon with our batteries recharged, feeling loved and excited to take on life.
When can you do the same? Gather a few friends at your home soon, whether for a meal or just a glass of wine. When we pause and celebrate friendship, our lives are blessed.
This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com