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Summertime is probably my all time favorite time to throw dinner parties. Living where I do, (Southern California) I like to spend as much time as possible outdoors. And our beautiful summer nights are just magical!

I’ve been traveling pretty much the past two months… so I’ve been craving… yes I said “craving” throwing a dinner party. Am I the only that craves such things? I love the whole process of a dinner party. Mostly planning the menu.. executing the dishes… deciding on my table scape and setting, and getting together with friends… old and new! There is no better way (in my book) to really connect with others than sitting at a table and sharing food together. Bonds and memories are made and cherished forever.

With all that said… I want to share with you all the table I envisioned and put together for my summer BBQ gathering… hoping to inspire some of you.

By the way… I get asked all the time where I got my tables. You can find them HERE.

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I love table runners! I have many to suit the mood I want to create for any particular gathering. I wanted a simple black and white look with a touch of color on my table. I realize that usual barbecue dinner decor are full of color… often a lot of red and reflects a country/cowboy look or theme. I like to create the unexpected, while still keeping it casual… elegantly so. By the way.. this particular table runner was made from a curtain panel I found at Anthropologie. I cut it into three parts and made three table runners from one curtain panel. I loved the design… so I got creative!

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Here is where the “elegant” part comes in. I visualized my vintage silver candelabras as part of the table to dress it up just a touch. I love things that contrast each other. Rustic/elegance… my fave! Who would expect silver candelabras on a BBQ dinner table? I especially love how they contrast with my rustic wooden table. If I had a table with a fancy finish.. I wouldn’t be able to achieve this look for a casual, outdoor,  summer BBQ. By the way… I found these two beauties at an antique store. I love looking for pieces for my tables at antique stores. It’s that whole mixing “old with new” look that I love.

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By now.. you probably know my trick to elevate platters and bowls of food on my tables. I have many different cake pedestals and bowls for this purpose alone. And you will love how you will be able to fit so much more food at your table for your “family style” dinners. My favorite way to serve food is having our guests passing platters to one another… builds a stronger connection at the table. Friends become family.

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I wanted to add just a touch of color to the table and in this case I wanted pink… another unpredictable color combination for a BBQ. If you use small containers with small openings.. you don’t need a lot of flowers to fill them. I wish I could remember where I found these little “milk bottle” looking glass containers. They are perfect for adding small pops of floral colors to my tables. Simple.. I love simple!

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Cut “from the garden” pink roses…. just the touch of color I wanted. The simple look is perfect for a summer BBQ night!

I also have many of you ask where I got my chairs from. I actually have mix.. but my sturdiest and favorite ones are THESE.

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I was on the search for black dinner plates forever… until I found these babies. Just the look I was on the hunt for… matte finish.. simple and fits my style. I also fell in love with these patina finished flatware a couple of Christmas’ ago. Perfect for the everyday or dressier look.The little bundle of chamomile flowers tied with jute is the perfect touch of “country” I was going for. I bought a big bouquet of them at Trader Joes for 3.99 and hardly used any for ten place settings. Simple, easy and inexpensive!

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And voila… it’s chow time! I know you’re wondering what was on my menu. It was all SO good! My hubby grilled some beautiful Tomahawk steaks (think “Flintstone style” steaks with a HUGE bone that protrudes out from each steak). Talk about presentation! The taste is amazing too.. especially when grilled on our Traeger grill.. so tender and amazing! To complement the steaks, we served grilled corn on the cob (a must for any BBQ!), a new goat cheese and pear bruschetta I’ve created and am in love with, my watermelon, kale and quinoa salad, multigrain sourdough bread (I learned this one in Italy… to die for!), potatoes cooked in duck fat finished with truffle salt  and for dessert… the best peach cobbler literally ever, served with some homemade vanilla gelato.

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Everything.. the food, the weather, the setting and most of all time with our friends.. was absolute perfection! Can you see why I “crave” throwing parties? Not much can surpass an evening like this. And you too can do this! I promise.. you won’t regret it.. and neither will your friends. Moments and memories are treasures that will be treasured for time without end. Magical I tell you.. just magical.