Category Archives: Parties

How to Throw a Wine and Cheese Party

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We love wine and cheese parties (Who doesn’t?) — and fall is the perfect time to host one. This season, host a wine and cheese party with style — one that involves more than putting out a plate of pre-sliced singles. We had a #pbtwitterparty yesterday with our entertaining expert, Tony, to get his tips on how to throw a wine and cheese party with some Pottery Barn style.

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Say Cheese
Wine and cheese can get expensive. A good cheese costs a lot! To mix things up and stay on budget, we like to use more affordable cheeses in clever appetizers — like crostini or fondue.

Want to pair wine and cheese for tastings? This usually works best with contrasting (sweet + savory) or complementary (sweet + sweet) flavors. Mix up the types of cheeses you serve, too. Firm, soft, semi-firm and flavorful cheeses like gorgonzola.

Give your guests a little break from cheese with other snacks, too. We love to use our Round Vintage Pizza Paddle Board to serve charcuterie. Throw a handful of almonds, olives, dried berries, grapes and other fruit into little bowls. Tip: We’d avoid apples, since they can get brown, unless you squeeze some lemon on them!

Don’t forget that cheese can be a dessert, too! Choose a dessert wine and complement with honey and chocolate for a wine and cheese tasting after a dinner party. 

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Wine Me Up
Just because you’re hosting doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Turn your wine and cheese party into a potluck of sorts to make your life a little easier. Have every guest bring a bottle of their very favorite wine to share — assign red and whites to mix it up.

Turn it into a blind wine tasting to make it extra fun. We love this wine tasting party from Julie Blanner.

Worried not everyone will want wine? Serve a few champagne cocktails to keep things festive. Click here for inspiration and recipes.

Don’t forget non-alcoholic options! Martinelli’s Apple Cider is great to have on hand — serve it in flutes! Spritzers are a great choice too — try mixing simple bitters and soda water.

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Hostess with the Mostess
Make hostessing easy and have guests serve sangria, cocktails or spritzers themselves with this fabulous wine barrel drink dispenser.

Bring a stopper or corkscrew as a hostess gift, or wrap your wine in a new dishtowel with a pretty ribbon.

Use wine tags to label glasses so your guests don’t get mixed up. Use paper hangtags and tie them to glasses with raffia or rope. Or, make it super simple and ask a friend with good handwriting to write everyone’s names on the glasses with Sharpie — it comes right off in the dishwasher, trust us!

End of Summer Beach Bonfire with Camp Makery PLUS a Giveaway!

Entertaining, Parties | | | 6 Replies

Summer’s almost over — can you believe it? Every year it seems to fly by even faster than the year before.

This summer, our friends at Camp Makery were inspired to celebrate the end of the season with a beach bonfire. Set on one of San Francisco’s foggy beaches, this gorgeous shoot encompasses everything we love about the Bay Area. Take a look at some of the shots, below, to get inspired for your own beach bonfire!

PS: Stay tuned for all of the food + drink recipes featured in these photos next week!

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Photographer: Christina Richards
Recipes: Tiffany Sauter of Camp Makery
Styling & Art Direction: Lauren Weems of Camp Makery
Drink recipes: Don Julio, Ketel One, Bulleit Bourbon
Props:  Cecita Tile Print Layer PlateBelgian Flax Linen NapkinsWashed Velvet Pillow CoverCambria Mugs

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For the bonfire, Tiffany Sauter of Camp Makery adopted the classic Cajun shrimp po’ boy into a California-style sandwich that suits this West Coast setting.  Baking the shrimp instead of deep-frying and filling the shrimp po’ boy with fresh veggies makes it more of a healthy meal that still tastes delicious.

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California Style Shrimp Po’Boys

Ingredients:
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails removed
4 hot dog buns
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 red bell pepper, core and seeds removed
1/3 cup raw cashews
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup fine or medium cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (more if you like spicy!)
1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 425°.  In a small bowl, toss red wine vinegar and red onion.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss shredded cabbage and apple cider vinegar.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, mix cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and oregano.  Toss with shrimp until they are coated.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and place shrimp in pan in a single layer without shrimp touching each other.  Bake for 15 minutes.  In a food processor or high-powered blender, puree cashews, garlic and red bell pepper.  Toast hot dog buns in oven for 3 minutes, if desired.  To assemble, spread red bell pepper sauce on bottom bun and top with shrimp.  Fill the bun with flash-pickled red onion and shredded cabbage.

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Do you love our Cecita plates as much as Camp Makery does? Enter for a chance to win a set of your own! Fill out the form below for a chance to win one set of Cecita Tile Print Bread Plates and a set of Cecita Tile Print Layer Plates.

See official rules here. 

This contest is now closed. 

Top Party Tips for Summer from Evite Party Planner Jessica Bailey

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Did you catch our Twitter Party yesterday? We were so excited to host Jessica Bailey, Evite Party Planner and blogger at Linen, Lace, & Love, who shared her top party planning tips (and Pottery Barn picks!) with our fans and followers. We loved her expert tricks to help make summer entertaining easy and fun for everyone. Take a look at some of our favorite tidbits from the Twitter Party, below — and don’t forget to follow Pottery Barn on Twitter for more entertaining and decorating tips!

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Adios, mosquitos!
Beat bugs by covering appetizers with pretty Pottery Barn glass domes.
 Hole punch cupcake liners, place upside down on your glass and put a straw through it to keep bugs out of your drink!
 Circle your party area with citronella candles to light when the sun sets.

Bring the indoors, out.
 Repurpose indoor furniture and move it out to the patio to create an alfresco dining experience.
 An inexpensive way to get an outdoor space party-ready is to use white candles to line a pool and/or walkway.

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Stick to something simple.
 
Keep food simple for outdoor entertaining: salads, fresh fruit and cold drinks are all you need.
 Save time and money by delegating dishes to friends (i.e. potluck style).

Try a themed party!
 
I love a late night “Drive in Cinema” party, with this invitation.
 Throw a #1 Fan party! Make it all about their favorite team and/or sport.
 Host a movie night + picnic. Put up a screen in your backyard, set up blankets and pillows, and offer snacks.
 I love a retro flamingo pool party for tweens — think black, white and pink.
 If you start with basic decor — black and white striped table cloth, white dishes — you can have a pirate party!

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Stock the bar.
 Cool beverages with a metal drink wagon outdoors.
 Served pre-mixed drinks so guests can help themselves — like our Hard Iced Tea bar featuring Pottery Barn’s Mason Jar Drink Dispenser
 I like to attach my bottle opener to a beverage tub with ribbon — they always go missing, otherwise!

PS: Don’t forget to enter our Summer’s Better Together Sweepstakes with Evite, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen. You could win $5,000 to shop at the Pottery Barn brands to help you plan your next summer celebration!

Sweet Summer Nights: A Santa Barbara Barbecue with Some Pottery Barn Love

Entertaining, Parties | | | 2 Replies

 

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Simplicity is the key to a successful summer party. Good friends, fresh ingredients, warm weather and wine — not much else is necessary to make a great night. That’s what’s so wonderful about this summer Santa Barbara barbecue, originally posted on Camille Styles.

Photography by Jen Huang

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Hosted by Poppies & Posies (who put together all of the florals) the barbecue took place in a beautiful Santa Barbara backyard on a perfect summer night. Barbecue expert Michael Steifman of Stuart & Co. whipped up an elegant but casual grilled menu.

Fresh farmer’s market vegetables made up the majority of the menu — served on Pottery Barn cutting boards and wood pedestals. Roasted red and yellow cherry tomato bruschetta on grilled bread with burrata made for a fresh but indulgent appetizer. Steifman also whipped up a batch of grilled shrimp with cilantro, peanuts, lime zest and chili paste. For the main course, Steifman served a brisket with smoked tomato salsa. Guests had their pick of spice-rubbed chicken, ribs and potato salad, too.

An elegant menu, with calligraphy by Jen Huang art, was displayed on our Cuisine Board Shelf with a flower arrangement by Poppies & Posies. Simple table settings with dark plates, teal napkins and marble slate name tags by Jen Huang stuck to the dinner’s summery but moody vibe.

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See the full story on Camille Styles.

 

 

How to Host a Backyard Wine Party: Part 2

Entertaining, Parties | | | 2 Replies

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Last week, we showed you one of our favorite ways to enjoy a warm summer night (with the help of the talented Caitlin Moran of Style Within Reach and Glitter Guide) — a backyard wine party!

Photography: Krista A Jones

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Along with some of our favorite La Crema wines, Moran also presented her guests with a spread of her favorite summer bites — a must for warm weather wine tasting.

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We love how Moran kept her fresh cherries on ice — it makes for a fun presentation, and keeps each piece of fruit feeling crisp and fresh.

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A cold glass of La Crema Pinot Gris is the perfect way to stay cool, too.

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Keep a few easy snacks out for guests to munch on before a light dinner — cheese, olives, grapes and almonds suit wine perfectly.

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Don’t go overboard when making this meal — make it a light meal, since heat can stave off the appetite. We love this simple pasta dish Moran made with peas and shrimp.

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Keep your decoration simple for a backyard party like this — summer is all about easy living, after all. A fresh bouquet of white flowers is all you need to make your tabletop look pretty.

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Our patterned napkins add a little extra color, too.

See the rest of the party here.

How to Host a Backyard Summer Wine Party: Part 1

Entertaining, Parties | | | 3 Replies

View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/gg_july4

Warm summer weather doesn’t last forever — we’re trying to soak up every bit of sunshine while we can! That means hosting outdoors whenever possible — like this lovely backyard La Crema wine party from Caitlin Moran of Style Within Reach and Glitter Guide.

Photography: Krista A Jones
Florals: Intrigue Design + Decor

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The key to a successful summer party (or any party, for that matter) is creating maximum impact with minimal effort. Warm weather foods suit this mantra well.

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A pretty display of crisp grapes, good cheese, olives and almonds can give guests something to munch on while they sip their wine.

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Fresh melon cubes wrapped with prosciutto provide that perfect salty/sweet combination.

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Don’t forget a drink dispenser of water to cleanse the palette!

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A lush and green summer backyard like Caitlin’s doesn’t need a lot of decorating. A simple vase of hydrangeas and napkins in a fun pattern make the set up feel both elegant and festive.

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Our Galvanized Metal Caravan Bar Cart helped keep some of our favorite warm weather wines cool in the hot weather.

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Plus, the cart encourages guests to grab and serve themselves throughout the evening.

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A casual garland of leaves and hydrangeas by Intrigue Design + Decor dressed it up with just a dash of summer style.

Stay tuned for part 2 — with Caitlin’s favorite warm weather recipes — soon! 

Our Favorite Party Tips to Kick Off the Summer

Entertaining, Parties | | | 3 Replies

Did you miss our Twitter Party yesterday? Our entertaining expert, Brett, took over our Twitter to answer all of your summer party questions — everything from invitations, to bar set up, to appetizer suggestions, to dealing with the last guests that can’t take a hint. Read on to take a look at his top tips, below!

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Invitations and guestlist:

Don’t want kids at your party? I just say adults only! There’s nothing wrong with that. But saying no children allowed can sound negative.

If you’re ready for the party to end, but your guests haven’t taken the hint, turn down the music, turn up the lights and make sure that every glass is put away.

If you’re worried about too few RSVPs, send your invitation through Evite so you can send them a reminder and updates. If no one shows, just invite your neighbors over. 

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Decorations:

Color themed parties are an easy, fun way to give your party flair. Just have everyone wear one color.

Don’t be afraid to use paper decorations outdoors! They’re very budget-friendly. But use them in multiples for drama.

I’ll throw a beach towel or an outdoor tablecloth for color on my cushions during a party, which will also protect them from spills and scuffs.

Candlelight instantly sets the mood for evening dinners. I use some of our lanterns and flameless candles and put them in the center of the table.

For parties hosted during hot days/nights, I love to go to Chinatown and find paper fans for everybody to use!

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Food and Drink:

Not sure how much food to serve? Go with the Golden Rule: Serve a handful of protein per person with plenty of salads and sides. Start off with a watermelon and feta salad and grilled meat and veggies with sauces for a healthy entree.

Get creative with your crudité! Use a scooped out avocado for the dip, or a scooped out watermelon for your bowl. You can make easy bites, like mozzarella and tomato or prosciutto and melon, ahead of time.

Set up a burger or hot dog bar with lots of different and unusual toppings. It could be mac and cheese on top of a burger, or coleslaw in different bowls. Have fun with it!

Use drink dispensers to display your favorite cocktail recipes. It makes it easy for guests to choose between vodka, tequila, or no alcohol. And you don’t have to serve them!

Keep cold food cold by filling a galvanized party bucket with ice and putting bowls with your food on top.

 

Follow us on Twitter so you can tune in to our next Twitter Party!

You might also like: Dreaming of Summer with Camp Makery