It's time to embrace the warm weather and start thinking about entertaining.
Spring has certainly arrived – especially in Queensland, and as the weather warms up, I find myself coming out of my cocoon and starting to think about outdoor entertaining and balmy evenings with flickering candlelight enjoying the company of friends.
To celebrate the end of our mild and short winter this is the time of year that I really feel like hamming it up and playing up all things tropical and colourful. With this in mind, I’ve created a table setting to convey this theme. My goal is to make it simple and inexpensive but lots of fun.
Colour is key in this setting. My tablecloth is just a printed fabric from Spotlight. I haven’t even bothered to hem it. Measure the length of the table you’ll be using and allow an overhang each end. If you find the fabric is not wide enough to cover the width of your table, you could use a base cloth first like a sheet and then put the feature fabric on top.
For crockery I’m just using a plain setting I already own, but adding accents like timber coasters and bamboo servery items. These types of items can be found at the cheap shops in the entertaining sections. I add natural fibres such as the bamboo, timber or cane because it brings in that Polynesian aspect that people associate with the tropics. Think of thatched tiki huts, coconuts and grass skirts. In this example I’ve used tortoise shell water glasses that I’ve had for years. I would suggest looking for glass wear in the cheap shops. There may be some good options of hand made glass or something that has a tropical feel. Each placemat is a small monsteria leaf.
The centre piece is easy, and I like to use items from my garden. I start with something big for the base, such as a palm leaf. Then add a couple more leaves. Keep to the tropical types of plants, such as the wide leaf heliconias. Dress this up with the florals such as bougainvillea, frangipani and heliconia bracts. Tropical fruit provides pops of colour. Pineapples give great height in centre pieces. Add white candles amongst the flowers to complete the look.
Remember entertaining should be fun. Don’t stress about making it look perfect, so long as your table is colourful and with tropical greenery & flowers you’ll manage to “Wow” your guests.