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Creating the Perfect Summer Dinner Party With Ted Kennedy Watson

We are back with lifestyle expert and host-with-the-most Ted Kennedy Watson who shared with us last week his tips for greeting and hosting weekend guests.  Today Ted is raising the bar yet again with his delicious and thoughtful approach to afternoon and evening entertaining.   Ted likes to serve an afternoon snack and a signature cocktail if anyone is feeling peckish or wants a little something to tide them over until dinner.  On the menu this time was as asparagus & gruyere tart and a signature cocktail made with vodka and tea.   Ted creates a music play list ranging from Miles Davis to Pablo Casales to play in the background as the lingering scent of his favorite candle hangs in the air.


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Ted’s signature cocktail couldn’t be easier or more delicious.  Lucky for us he shared the recipe below.


  • Mariage Freres Marco Polo tea
  • Grey Goose French vodka
  • Springs of spearmint

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Around 7 Ted starts in on what he likes to call a ‘Country Supper’ with corn chowder made by his husband.  Bright yellow spray roses and lemons he picked up at grocery store become the centerpiece.  A spread of cheeses, breads & crackers, as well as honey and jams to have with the cheeses is set out for guests to nosh on as dinner is prepared.  He likes to set them up on the counter so guests can just get up along the way to stretch their legs and help themselves.  A kale salad with strawberries and a tasty Waterbrook Sauvignon Blanc from Washington, another nod to our their home is prepped and set on the main table.  A big cobbler stands at the ready on the sideboard so dessert is whenever the last guest is finished with their meal.

Evening Supper Menu

Kale salad with strawberries and a balsamic vinaigrette

Corn chowder

Assorted cheeses, crackers and breads

Peach & blueberry cobbler

Waterbrook Sauvignon Blanc

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Ted’s Six Tips For Effortless & Successful Entertaining

  • My number one rule for having guests over is have as much done before they arrive so you can relax and enjoy your own gathering.
  • Place extra bottles of wine out so guests can help themselves.
  • Include the 5 senses in your gathering so have music playing, your favorite candle burning, as many things as possible to delight the senses.
  • If a friend offers help, take them up on it.  The more the merrier to make the gathering/party fun, relaxing and a hit!
  • Spray roses from the grocery store are some of the very best floral value and pack a huge color punch.
  • Buy potted plants and herbs to enjoy at the party, then plant them in your yard as a remembrance of the gathering.

Casual is key with all of their hosting, but especially in the country it is especially so.  Time seems to fade away, which is just what he had all hoped for.  Just time spent with dearest old friends making new memories.

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