5 Must-Haves for Summer Entertaining

posted: 07/03/15
by: Blythe Copeland

Warm weather means outdoor parties, family picnics, and impromptu backyard dining--all of which goes more smoothly if you have the right tools. From chic wood serving trays to unbreakable dishes that don't look like they belong at the kids' table, add these five essentials to your summer entertaining lineup.

1. Effervesce Stemless Wine Glass

Beach blue or clear stemless glasses from Anthropologie re made from recycled glass and accented with a bubbled texture -- making them the perfect holders for a glass of wine after a long day at the beach, a fruity cocktail while watched the sun set over the lake, or sipping lemonade during a long lunch.

2. Melamine dinnerware

For lunch or dinner alfresco, the safest choice is unbreakable melamine plates and serving dishes--preferably that don't look like the plastic versions your kids are using. Set the table with richly colored Swirl dinnerware and Cabo serving pieces from Pottery Barn for a table that's beautiful and functional.

3. Burger baskets

For more casual hamburger and hot dog nights, serve up your main course in iconic plastic baskets from World Market. Just line with paper and fill with homemade french fries, piled-high burgers, 'dogs with all the fixings, chicken fingers, or sausage and pepper sandwiches; they're easier to hold than a plate, so the baskets work especially well for barbecues where most of the guests will eat standing up.

4. Glass lanterns

Keep the party going even after the sun sets with pretty outdoor lanterns or lights, like the Medallion globes from Pier One in green, turquoise, orange, or clear. Just add tealight candles and place them on tables (or hang from branches if you have a safe spot) to add a candlelit vibe to your next dinner party.

5. Artisan Tray

Lay out appetizers on this striped artisan tray from Fab.com, or use it to help carry all your flatware and condiments out from the kitchen -- however you choose to make it work for you, the bright colors, natural wood, and cotton rope handles will make it a go-to piece for all your summer entertaining.

serving tray with chevron pattern