A summer party in Provence is my idea of heaven.
This year we had a party to celebrate our daughter’s birthday. It was a long weekend affair with a black tie dinner on the Saturday night and a pool party on the Sunday. It was a great success and from my point of view (master organiser) it went off without a hitch.
The part I enjoy is the planning, deciding how it should roll and putting all the small pieces together to create the end result.
This party, apart from the Saturday night dress code, was relaxed and casual and that’s how I wanted it to look.
The heat put a stop to any major floral instillations that we may have wanted; nearly 40 degrees most days meant that flowers were not an ideal option. Our hydrangeas ended up as the cut blooms for the party; they can truly withstand the heat. They were superstars and not only looked pretty but never wilted. That is all about the cutting and preparation.
Into the mix I added potted plants. One long table for 40 meant I could create the table decoration as a continuation of the garden. `A mix of glass jars and vases, copper and ceramic pots in various heights brought the decoration together. Flowering plants and herbs, with the scents of lemon verbena, mint and basil floating into the mix, made a lovely addition.
Tea lights were scattered throughout the floral decorations and the overhead strings made for a festive feel; it really did look very pretty.
Emily planned the personal aspects of the decoration.
We would not be Aussies without a traditional “lolly bag” for each guest. It is such an Australian tradition and we always include them. They were filled with sweets and those pull and pop streamers. So much fun.
The highlight was the illustrated place cards. Hand drawn by Emerence de Potesta, they were a cartoon style likeness of Emily’s friends.
The attention to detail was incredible. Emily spent weeks and weeks on these, getting them just so. She sent Emerence so many photos of each friend and had long involved chats about their unique personalities, their quirks and their interests. We all loved looking at ourselves in caricature.
It was such a fabulous idea, gave that really personal touch and was a wonderful memento for all of her friends to take home.
Sometimes ideas come together and a party feels effortless, this was one of those times. It does help to have a beautiful backdrop in Provence and a garden that is a dream come true.
Sunday was a poolside brunch and we set round tables up amongst the olive trees. Gravel, olives, traditional quilts covering the tables, potted geraniums from the garden and the deafening sound of cicadas; it doesn’t get much more summer in Provence than that.
And the “big kids” pool toys.
Summer in Provence; it is hot and it is noisy (yes, cicadas can be deafening) but I wouldn’t change it for the world, xv.
Summer Wouldn’t Be Summer In Provence Without These
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