After a winter packed with evening events, freshen up your next party by hosting a spring-themed brunch. With nature-inspired décor, an uplifting atmosphere and delicious food and drink, your soiree will be a breath of fresh air for partygoers. Here’s how to make brunch the new happy hour:
Send Snail Mail Invites
For maximum impact, send out paper invites to your guests. In a world where texts and Facebook posts reign supreme, a real invite makes your party seem extra-special. Opt for crisp white invites with colorful accents to convey your theme. If you’d rather send invites electronically (using services such as Evite or PaperlessPost), include a tantalizing description of the delicious meal.
Diversify Your Menu
Effortlessly cater to different palates with a variety of hot and cold brunch dishes, including a make-your-own omelet station, bagel bar with custom cream cheese selections, and tomato-potato hash. Offer your guests hot coffee, tea and refreshing juice to drink.
Freshen Up Décor
Keep your décor fresh and simple with all-white dishes, napkins and tablemats. This draws attention to your centerpiece of bright, cheerful flowers, such as yellow daffodils or pink tulips. On either side of the flowers, place two glass hurricane vases filled with a mixture of white and brown eggs or lemons and limes. Instead of regular drinking glasses, serve water or juice in mason jars for a rustic but affordable touch.
Pro Party Tips
“The less you have to think about in the hour before the party the better,” says Kath Younger, the lifestyle blogger and organizational guru behind KathEats.com. “Start by setting your table and putting all decorations into play. Then, lay out all of your serving dishes and plan what food will go where (use a little label if you don’t think you’ll remember!).”
Younger advises to then put any last-minute touches on the menu, and ask yourself if there’s anything else you can prep in advance. And, finally, give your house a quick clean, focusing on the guest bathroom and living space where the brunch will take place. This way, Younger says, “In the morning, you’ll be able to focus on the cooking and getting yourself dressed!”
Speaking of preparedness, it’s important to have the food ready to go when brunch guests arrive. Unlike a dinner party, where guests expect a lag between arrival time and the meal, your guests may come to your brunch hungry. While they’re enjoying the meal, be sure to keep coffee cups full. To prevent coffee from turning bitter in the coffee maker, pour freshly brewed java into a large carafe.
Finally, don’t forget the music! Select cheerful, upbeat music and turn it to the perfect volume — loud enough to influence the mood, but not so loud that it discourages talking. If your guests offer help, let them. Giving guests simple tasks – like serving pastries or refilling coffee cups – encourages conversation. Keep the party lively by organizing a post-meal activity, like tossing a Frisbee around your backyard.
Caitlin Boyle for What’s Cooking