Southerners love to entertain outdoors. Chef-owner Billy Allin of Cakes & Ale and his wife, Kristin, have the perfect garden for a soiree, set on two acres in Decatur. For an intimate party, Allin crafted a menu of fresh-picked ingredients. Annett Joseph, stylist and author of Picture Perfect Parties, created a sophisticated but relaxed table, where family and friends clinked glasses and dined in the fading sun.
- Tangerine, carrot, fennel, and olives
- Herbed green garlic aioli
- Grilled trout, scallions, and asparagus
- Grilled potatoes
- Oysters on half shell, Champagne mignonette
- Cucumber, marinated beets, and lamb’s quarters
- Cakes & Ale dandelion greens, eggs, and pickled onion
- Rosé and sparkling wine
- Strawberry tart and soft whipped cream (not pictured)
Add a little twine bow and a flourish of herbs or baby thistle to your napkins for a touch of natural beauty.
Layer a tablecloth and a runner to give texture and interest to your tablescape.
If your menu includes citrus, try a centerpiece of lemons, tangerines, and oranges. Slice some in half so guests can use them to dress fish or salads.
Look for mismatched vintage flatware at flea markets. it’s a fun way to add a little whimsy o a fine meal.
No need for a formal centerpiece. Flowers in vintage jelly jars, test tubes, and glass milk bottles provide bits of color all over the table.