The south of France has its advantages, mainly regarding food; which in my book is already a great start for any dinner party! Especially the al fresco ones where we get to enjoy the glorious weather and scenery ;)
But apart from the great food, the Mediterranean lifestyle oozes simplicity and charm, and therefore makes for a great dinner party theme this time of year!
A Mediterranean Party - The Tablescape & Decor
For this dinner party I was inspired by coastal Mediterranean regions and the sea. But I didn't want a heavily nautical theme, just touches of blue here and there...
It's a perfect party theme for a relaxed and casual summer party, where guests gather around a table full of amazing dishes, and where the food takes center stage. So we kept the table decor to a minimum, in true Mediterranean style!
A white tablecloth covered our rustic table and we scattered cushions on the seats for a cozier feel.
The tableware also carried the blue hues, and we included hand-dyed watercolor napkins (tutorial coming later in the week) and hand-painted flatware (tutorial also coming soon). It's a great way to up-cycle flea market finds and old fabrics!
For flowers, they're best kept to a minimum, so we placed some lavender branches and wild flowers from my garden into a vase - Simple, yet totally in-keeping with the party theme (not to mention free!)
Mediterranean Mezze Style Party Food
In true Med fashion, a table full of Mezze style dishes are what we served and what we love best! Everyone tucks in without ceremony, dishes are passed around, and the atmosphere is instantly less austere than a full-on three course meal!
For the Mediterranean Mezze spread we served: homemade tabbouleh with dried fruits and pomegranate seeds, platters of cured meats, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh Mediterranean fruit and vegetables, as well as a delicious homemade chickpea hummus with smoked pimenton oil (recipe here), lots of toasted ciabatta and a super fresh yet satisfying feta, cucumber and red onion salad with a gorgeous Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (recipe below).
Recipe - Feta, Cucumber & Red Onion Salad with Ranch Dressing
Ingredients: Serves 4
* 1 bloc of feta cheese
* 1 small red onion
* 1/2 English cucumber
* 1 sachet of Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dip Mix
* Lambs lettuce for four
* 250 ml (8.5 fl oz) of creme fraîche
* chopped fresh dill for garnish
1) Place lamb's lettuce onto a large serving platter. Cut the cucumber into semi circles (keep skin on for crunch) and scatter on top of the lettuce.
2) Crumble the Feta cheese on top and scatter with thinly sliced red onions.
3) For the dressing: At the table or just before serving, mix one packet of Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dip Mix with the creme fraîche and mix to get a thick consistency. Add to the salad when serving and sprinkle with fresh dill on top.
The dressing tasted super yum and works great as a dip too, so we placed some into a bowl and everyone loved dipping their toasted ciabattas and veggies in it! ;)