Dinner parties…..should they be casual, formal, casually formal or something totally different? Welcome to the Blog today as I try to solve that dilemma for a dinner party for four tonight. It’s nearing the end of August and way too hot to eat outdoors. It’s also been quite rainy every afternoon and as I sit here working on this I can hear the thunder sounding outside. Company’s due in a couple of hours and I’m in pretty good shape. The house is clean, everything I can make ahead is done and the rest is planned out. So what about the table?

I wanted to set a fairly simple table with a lingering feel of Summer. I opted for a sunny yellow tablecloth in linen. The weave adds a bit of texture to the table setting. The centerpiece came next. I’ve been making batches of pesto and collected a fresh-picked bouquet of basil in a pottery jug. The jug is in tones of greens and blues with a touch of earthenware sand color. The bunch of basil smells of Summer. I added a few flower sprigs to the basil in purple tones. Simple but pretty.

Next came the plate stack and I kept this pretty basic. Just a white porcelain charger, a dinner plate and a salad plate. The dessert plates will be served separately after the main meal is finished.

The dinner plate is Royal Doulton’s, Carmina and the salad plate is an English pattern called “Gay Day”. You can see that the dinner plate is blue and yellow and the salad plate blue and white. Love the flowers on the salad plate.

Pretty crystal is essential to a dinner party and these are two of my favorites. It’s fun to mix and match your china and your crystal. These two patterns are similar in shape and have intricate cut glass and etching on the stems and the bowls of the goblets. The similar shape makes them a good pairing. The first piece is Noritake’s Rockport and the second is a piece by Pairpoint.

The silver-plate is not elaborate but has some pretty flower details.

Blue and white napkins are held together by beautiful, deco, art glass, napkin rings. They really add to the overall place setting.

I’m going to be serving a shrimp cocktail appetizer followed by a Main Course of Salmon baked with lemon, olive oil, and pesto over green beans. We’ll be serving the main course with a salad and hot bread. Then for dessert we have a fruit plate with homemade Biscotti dipped in dark chocolate.

You can prep most everything for this meal before your guests arrive and there isn’t much cleanup. Both are good reasons to choose a meal like this for company. A crisp white wine will accompany the meal.

The overview of the table shows you how the colors come together to create the whole.

What can be better than an evening with Friends or Family sharing a meal and enjoying one another’s company? As usual, everything on the table was thrifted.

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