Literary Dinner | The Secret Garden
It was a dark and stormy night....no seriously, it actually was! We anticipated a sunny afternoon for this dinner party, we were even tossing around the idea of a picnic, but instead it POURED. We got a few breaks in the storm, enough for Rikki to work her magic on some of these shots, but make no mistake, rain was pelting my windows and by the time we were cozying up with tea and shortbread, the thunder was booming and the lightning was slicing open the sky in bright bursts. Remember the scene in The Secret Garden when Mary finds Colin during a violent thunderstorm? Yeah. That was us.
For this one, we really wanted to go heavy on plants and potted flowers, to bring the garden magic inside. Luckily, Rikki is a crazy plant lady and brought over plenty of gorgeous greenery to adorn my table. I pulled all the natural looking elements I had in my house, a pot of violets, a wood serving round, some fake moss, as well as some playful objects like floral napkins, lavender raffia, a ceramic bunny, a leather wrapped vase, plus plenty of candlelight. I also had this amazing skeleton key bottle opener and some floral paper straws for our Rose Lemonades.
Channeling the kids' meals in the Garden, we went with a fresh, picnic feel for appetizers, just a rustic baguette, some fresh berries, nettle + chive cheese, and pink grapefruit marmalade for a touch of brightness. We spent some time sitting and discussing the book as usual, sipping drinks through pretty straws, and reading favorite passages from the novel. We both love this book; it's a classic for a reason and just explodes with the exuberance of spring.
In keeping with the whole vibe of picnics and the outdoors, we opted to grill up some chicken and fennel pieces and pair it with a colorful, veggie-filled salad complete with purple carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and fresh snap peas.
After dinner was when the storm really picked up. The sky had blackened and the thunder was rolling while we watched the 1993 version of the movie, which is the one most of you have probably seen. It's a classic childhood favorite of both of ours, and quite nostalgic, so of course we love it unconditionally.
With the movie playing, and the lightning cracking, it was the perfect time to cozy up with some tea and shortbread. We tried out a flowering tea, which was so fitting, with some homemade shortbread as a nod to classic English tea times, and which fit with food descriptions in the book.
We really loved doing this dinner party, it was so seasonally on point (despite the storm) and just so fresh and natural and simple. If you're wondering how you can pull this off yourself, stay tuned because we have got some big announcements coming soon!