I had spent a portion of my weekend before the gathering working outside on my patios in preparation for the little outdoor soiree. (The photo above was on a prep night when I was playing with the table setting...)
Yep, that's plural, on the word patios.
Technically one is supposed to be a covered carport I think, but I park my car and truck in my garage, and don't need it for that, so I've made it into the outdoor dining area.
Wait. I'm jumping ahead.
You might remember the first patio from last summer, here. It's set for winter entertaining now, with my outdoor living room type patio furniture complete with blankets tossed for folks to cover up with if necessary, although I needn't have been concerned, as I lucked out with an actual semi-dry day and evening, and we our high last Wednesday was a balmy 57'.
So, now on to the other covered carport patio. The round dining table and chairs is gone from the original patio layout, and has been replaced on this second patio, with a longer harvest table and chairs in more of a full-on dining area set up. I have the two propane heaters on either end of the harvest table to keep us warm. I hung strands of Edison lights (from World Market) around the perimeter, (I wanted to zig-zag them, but they can't be hung too close to the propane heaters) and two vintage windows I bought at a Christmas faire hang above the season's remaining stacked firewood. I wanted to zig-zag the lights, but the instructions on the lights specifically said not to hang them near a heater, so that put the kibosh on that idea.
My outdoor harvest table is a craigslist find, with Ikea bistro chairs (You can't beat fifteen bucks a chair, and they fold up for easy storage if need be!) Five dollar Ikea throws adorned the backs of the chairs, in case that iPhone weather guy was wrong, and they added to the welcome look. With my fire pit going, and two outdoor heaters flanking the dining table, we were quite toasty.
A centerpiece of assorted canning jars with birdseed and votive candles added ambiance and light to the table. I used my metal chargers that are now painted in black chalkboard paint, (A great way to update any outdated charger plates you might have!) and reproduction French grain cloth napkins and runners (From World Market) I had bottles of chilled water at each end of the table. (A great entertaining staple to have on hand are tall closable bottles for water, and I always find them at the thrift store.)
My old enamel top table works fabulously as a buffet server, although I really didn't get any great shots of that, and the food came out perfectly. Easy, tasty, and more than enough.
I'll share my menu tomorrow!