Do you ever wish you could just escape from the daily humdrum of life? Spend a few hours somewhere else, relaxing, getting away from it all and appreciating some rather wonderful surroundings with lovely people? I do. I did. Last week I spent a very blissful afternoon with The White Company at Eltham Palace whilst picking up some essential tips for summer entertaining and it literally felt like time stood still for a few wonderful hours.
Eltham Palace provided the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of quintessentially British summer entertaining. Part medieval royal palace, it was added to in the 1930s by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in a forward-thinking and grand Art Deco style as they looked to add to their status in society by making their home a perfect combination of countryside pursuits yet within easy and swift reach of high society Central London.
Today, the palace is managed by English Heritage who have taken great care to restore both the building and gardens to their former glory. With sweeping views over London and a tranquility that you could never imagine finding in what is technically still the city, the beautiful gardens provided the perfect backdrop for our afternoon with drinks provided by 31 Dover, food courtesy of creative chef Tim Maddams and his company Green Sauce and the finishing touch of a string quartet.
As well as a tour of the house and gardens, I was keen to pick up some outdoor summer styling tips from The White Company themselves as we renovate our patio area and as you would expect from such a stylish and sophisticated company, their table settings and outdoor styled spaces convinced me that summer really is on the way.
Here are some of their top tips for styling outside space:
- Fill pretty bud vases with your favourite blooms and place them inside a lantern for a contemporary and stylish look
- Tie napkins with some garden twine, herbs and flowers
- Use champagne coupes as dessert servers for lemon posset or sorbet and top with edible flowers. The perfect show-stopper at the end of a meal
- Pin poplin bunting around the edge of your tablecloth and use a single bloom or small hanging decorations to hide the pins
- Plant a champagne trug with white orchids to create a sophisticated all-year round look
It’s often the smallest and simplest touches that can create the most impact and by keeping to a clean colour palette and smooth lines, The White Company have shown me how to perfect my perfectly elegant outdoor dining space this summer…watch this space for another blog post where I attempt to recreate what I’ve learned.
Thank you so much to The White Company for inviting me to this event. All words, opinions and images are my own unless otherwise stated.
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