There’s nothing that says “summer” like eating outside — the balmy air, cheery table settings, and tall glasses of iced tea (or a boozy summer punch) bring back all those good warm weather feelings. As August approaches, and with it the last few indulgent weekends before fall swoops in, it’s time to host a late summer, late afternoon lunch with your favorite friends. Keep the good vibes going by adding in some surprise party games — see below for our faves. And if you're looking for more inspo to awaken your inner host(ess), here are a few of our favorite summer party ideas.
Make Water Service Chic
Goodbye, boring water glasses, hello beautiful, Murano glass tumblers! We love the funky shapes and fun colors of these glasses, crafted in Venice, Italy by master glassmaker Davide Fuin. Oh and wine tastes pretty good out of them, too.
Set of 4, $280
Take Your Napkins to the Next Level
We’re obsessed with the simplicity and elegance of these linen napkins, trimmed with subtle embroidery in summery sky blue. Make them all the more special by adding an embroidered monogram.
Set of 4, $75
Set the Tone with the Perfect Tablecloth
There’s nothing quite as summer-chic as a gingham tablecloth — especially when it's made in France. We love the understated aqua hue of this one from Maison de Vacances, perfect for special occasions or for everyday use on your breakfast table.
Be Playful with Your Plates
The Parisian ceramics studio Astier de Villatte has created the dream summer dinner plate: a gorgeous daisy-shaped design made of black clay, glazed in their signature glossy white. Major bonus: you can put it directly in the dishwasher when the party’s over.
Go Au Natural
We love adding natural textures and colors into our summer tablescape, and these placemats — made of palm leaf by a women’s collective in Bangladesh — are just the thing.
Set the Tone As You Set the Table
Guests love to know where they’re sitting, and they also love to kick off the party with a good giggle. Our very own Dear Annabelle Place Cards are the perfect way to set a fun mood — we think our Super Duper Set is super cool for summer.
Set of 24 cards, $60
Bust Out the Bingo
Surprise your guests with an impromptu game to shake things up and get the (friendly?) competition going. This deluxe Bingo Set — complete with chic wooden boards and a cool hand-cranked cage — is a definite winner.
Don’t Forget the Rose!
A summer lunch is simply not a summer lunch without the perfect (dry!) rose. Our favorite comes from Clos Beylesse in Provence — in a gorgeous blue bottle, to boot.