Entertaining

The Essence of Hospitality

I just returned from a trip to London where I had great fun touring the sites and eating surprisingly good food (who knew London was such a culinary goldmine?!).  One of the sites I visited with a friend while there was the Tower of London. We took the Yeoman Warder tour, drooled over the Crown Jewels, and toured the grounds.

While touring the Tower, I saw mention of how kings and queens used to entertain. Feasts, feasts, and more feasts. Fine china, well-dressed tables, delicacies of all kinds. It sounded so luxurious and decadent and must have been an incredible treat for those guests that were able to attend.

I do not promote the exclusivity and classicism that occurred in the days of those great feasts. I am struck, however, by the general hospitality that was extended.  Every detail was carefully planned so that each guest would have a memorable experience. In fact, when these kings and queens used to entertain, their guests — usually the royal court — became an extension of their family.

In many ways, that is what Rex & Regina Events is about. Showing gracious hospitality to one’s guests. It could be a casual BBQ at your home, a special occasion like a wedding or graduation, a corporate event to entertain clients, or a non-profit fundraising event with donors. It doesn’t matter the style or scale of the event, guests should feel cared for and appreciated. From start to finish, their experience should be seamless, cohesive, and comfortable. They should feel like part of your family.

Here’s to gracious hospitality — royal or not!

Late Night Snacks

As your guests dance the night away, they might long for an extra bit of sustenance. With so many late night snack options, here are a few treats sure to provide satisfaction that will have your guests raving for years to come.

French fries in dotted paper cones, via the knot, photo credit Justin and Mary Photography

 

Give your guests a boost of caffeine - iced coffee topped with cotton candy, via Martha Stewart Weddings

 

There's nothing better than breakfast for dinner! Serve your guests delicious pancakes or French Toast Sticks, via Hostess with the Mostess Blog

 

 

A popcorn buffet allows guests to pick from a variety of toppings, via Pen N' Paperflowers

1920′s-Inspired Signature Drinks

Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby provides a luscious, opulent perspective of the 1920′s. Influencing fashion, events, and decor, the movie gives a fresh take on 1920′s flair. As you consider your signature drink for cocktail hour, keep in mind these revamped classics.

French 75 - lemon, gin, and simple syrup topped off with champagne, via Epicurious, Photo Credit Elizabeth Perrin

 

Bee's Knees

Gin, honey and lemon combine to make the Bee's Knees, via LA Weekly, photo credit Eric Alperin

 

Southside Cocktail Recipe

Gin meets lime, mint and seltzer to create a refreshing Southside, via Inspired Taste

 

Highball

With a wide variety of options, the Highball offers a classic your guests will love, via Time Out Chicago, photo credit Martha Williams

Beautiful Orange and White Arrangement

I simply adore this arrangement featured on One Charming Party. As they suggest, it would be perfect for Mother’s Day. I could also see it as part of a Spring tablescape, a ladies’ tea, a bridal shower…. The bright orange color and the pops of citrus make it a happy addition to any table!

orange centerpiece via One Charming Party

Delicious Champagne Punch

I had a small soiree at my house last night and served appetizers and a selection of desserts. I always try to offer a special cocktail in addition to wine, water, and nonalcoholic beverages. Last night, I was inspired to do a champagne punch to complement the menu and found this delicious recipe on Epicurious. It does pack a wallop, but it is really festive and tasty. It would be beautiful served in this silver-banded punch bowl from Williams-Sonoma.

Silver-rimmed punch bowl from Williams-Sonoma

Valentine’s Day Ice Cubes

Whether you are hosting guests for a Valentine’s Day get together or just want to show that special someone you care, this project is for you! These pomegranate filled ice cubes are easy to make and will instantly make any drink you serve that much more special.

 

Pomegranate Heart Ice Cubes

You can find a step-by-step process on how to make these ice cubs here, but essentially you just put three pomegranate seeds in a heart shaped ice tray. Freeze and then serve in your drink of choice!

 

“New Year, New Uses”

REAL SIMPLE featured a post titled “New Year New Uses,” which I loved. It explains how common household items can be transformed into something new and awesome! There are several in the article worth checking out but below are a few of my favorites.

Baby Oil to Detangle Necklaces

One of the most frustrating things for me is when my necklaces get tangled! I can never seem to untangle them myself. Easy solution: rub a small amount of baby oil into the knot and work it free with a straight pin.

Holiday Lights as a Night Light

This is a fun, quirky way to use your holiday lights year round. Simply get any size Mason jar and fill it with battery powered holiday lights. This cute night light can be used anywhere around your home to add spark.

Lollipops as Cocktail Stirrers

Maybe it is because I am a kid at heart but I love the idea of using lollipops as cocktail stirrers. Pick a flavor or color that compliments the cocktail being served. Your guests will love this fun twist on a childhood favorite!

Sparkly New Year’s Day Brunch

As we’ve gotten older and friends’ families have started to grow, we’ve found that its naturally harder to plan New Year’s Eve events. Last year the idea came to me of hosting a New Year’s Day brunch instead. That way, our friends and their children could all come together to celebrate the new year in a family-friendly way.

We hire baby-sitters and make sure there are fun activities for the children. Friends say that this helps them to more easily connect with people at the party while knowing that their children are safe and having fun. I create a separate buffet with kid-friendly food in addition to a brunch buffet, dessert display, and beverage “station” for all of the adults.

I wanted the party to be “sparkly” and focused on a silver and white color palette. I sewed a silver sequin runner for the buffet table and a sequin topper with a white skirt for the dessert buffet sideboard. Flowers (done by Petal’s Edge) featured whites and greys and some of the vases we wrapped in sparkly ribbon. Drink stirrers were also wrapped with tiny tinsel strands. Subway art above the buffet is from Eighteen 25.

Here are a few photos from the brunch, beautifully captured by the talented photographer Katarina Price. Thanks, Katarina!