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The French Soirée was on Sunday! I was thrilled all went well. All the more excited when the sun peeked out so we could enjoy coffee and dessert on the patio after gifts were opened.

Reason for the occasion? A milestone in need of celebration! My dear friend, Emily, and her husband are expecting their first child, a girl, later this summer.

My notes…

I kept the party decor to a minimum since Emily’s home is beautifully decorated with treasures from past visits to France, wonderful collections, and amazing natural light. I only needed flowers: peonies, sweet peas and roses.

Guests were greeted by a large bouquet in the mailbox as they walked up the stairs from the street and there were two more bouquets on the porch. Throughout the main floor and on the patio, I used a mix of light and dark peonies, and pink, white and purple sweet peas. In the kitchen, behind a large platter of almond tortes for the guests, was a tall vase of pink roses.

Lunch was kept simple, yet delicious. Quichés were sliced and transferred to platters and a cake stand in advance for easy self-serving. The salad was a simple mix of berries, goat cheese, spring mix lettuces and Sahale nuts. The strawberries were the main item that needed attention and time since I didn’t want to fill them the night before. For the lunch buffet, I used my serverware: platters, cake stands and a large, shallow bowl.

We had petite sweet bites for dessert with coffee and tea, instead of having a large cake or cupcakes (sacre bleu! no cupcakes!). For dessert service, I used a trio of stacking pedestals.

The Menu:
  • Brie with crackers, topped with strawberry slices
  • Spring greens with berries, goat cheese & candied nuts
  • Strawberries filled with goat cheese, topped with blueberries
  • Quiché lorianne with bacon; Spinach, mushroom & feta quiché; and Artichoke hearts quiché
  • Macarons, vanilla meringues, butter cookies, & chocolate shortbread cookies
  • Pomegranate-champange punch, San Pellegrino & Rieme lemonade

For more pictures, please visit the French Soirée photo album on Sparrow Soirées’ Facebook page. (Out of respect for privacy, pictures of guests are not included.)

Event Tip #1: Before packing up your serveware at home, place it on your table and use sticky notes as a way to mark where food will go when it’s time to serve. You don’t want your hosting home, possibly the guest of honor, trying to find a platter for you once guests have arrived. Never fret if your serveware does not match perfectly – it will add charm and personalize the party.

Event Tip #2: Prep as much as possible at home, pack non-perishable items the night before and have the items in the fridge and freezer grouped together so nothing is left behind on the next day. Having a list of items to check-off as you pack is also handy. While packing items think about two things: 1) minimal trips to/from the car, and 2) ease of access once you start to prep at the hosting house.

The Extra Touch: Have flowers in vases for the soon-to-be grandma(s) and, if present, soon-to-be great grandma(s). Another option is a small wooden airplane or train as a gift for grandpas-to-be or for grandparents who will be helping with childcare. No matter if it’s the first grandchild or the tenth, your thoughtfulness will be deeply appreciated.


Images: Sparrow Soirées