A Nautical Summer Sendoff with Liz Curtis of Table + Teaspoon

Labor Day signifies the unofficial end of summer, and I can’t think of a better season to sendoff in style. Ubiquitous rooftop barbeques, poolside lounging, and sand castle building competitions are hallmarks of the holiday. But this year, let’s up the ante and elevate your fête with a nautical themed dinner party. It’s the perfect opportunity to pull out that crisp navy and white décor one last time before we settle into cozy shades of autumnal tan, chocolate, and burnt orange. Bolstered by moonlight, exquisite company, and delicious food – all you need to complete the evening is the following seaside-inspired accoutrement, including place settings from my new “rent the table” service, Table + Teaspoon.

Table + Teaspoon Cabot Setting

Prepping your dinner party has never been easier, because with my company Table + Teaspoon, you can “rent the table.” Rather than spend your precious time off figuring out which plate goes with which goblet, scouring stores for the ideal linen, and washing dishes, you can rent a preset package. For this nautical themed dinner party, I recommend the Cabot Setting. It was inspired by summers in Nantucket, and comes with an oversized luxury runner, dual-sided napkins, dinner plate, salad plate, gold flatware, stemless wine glass, water glass, menu card, place card, paper straw, taper candles, and candlesticks. Simply input your party date, number of guests, and we send you everything overnight (or same day in the Bay Area) with step-by-step instructions on how to set the table. Once the party is over, put it all back in the box and send away – we’ll take care of the dirty dishes.

Anthropologie From the Deep Side Octopus Side Plates

 

The frivolity of these octopus motif hors d'oeuvresplates evokes a more casual etiquette, setting the tone for a relaxed evening with friends. Prepare a cheese and charcuterie spread to satiate appetites before sitting for dinner. I recommend serving with a signature cocktail, preferably a classic julep or filthy martini.

Tiffany & Co. Sea Urchin Pitcher

This pitcher captures the beguiling aura of grandmother’s china coupled with Tiffany’s provocative urchin print. The Sea Urchin Collection has been a favorite since I was introduced to the tea set as a teenager at my best friend’s Sweet Sixteen. I’ve been coveting the pieces ever since, and can’t imagine a better time to incorporate them than this nautical dinner party.

Gump’s Pagoda Cachepot Candle

I always advise layering patterns within your dinner party palette. Different designs within the same color scheme add instant depth to your table. These brilliant Chinoiserie votives in navy and white offer a dash of 18th-century Rococo to the modern aesthetic.

Restoration Hardware Preserved Boxwood Globes

In lieu of putting together florals for your dinner, order a pair of preppy preserved boxwood globes in the 11¾-inch size. Vibrant green plays marvelously off the navy and white color pairing, and the best part is that you can repurpose the foliage post-party in your foyer or over a fireplace mantel.

Williams-Sonoma Mini Copper Cocottes

Tailoring aspects of your dinner party shows guests how much thought you’ve put into the gathering. Think individualized dishware like these mini copper cocottes. When placed atop each Cabot plate they instantly turn an ordinary dinner into something extraordinary. Fill with my decadent Lobster Pot Pie recipe below. 

Jonathan Adler Blue and Gold Agate Coasters

No one does finishing touches quite like iconic designer, Jonathan Adler. Add texture, while preserving your dining table, with these striking agate coasters from the Glam Rock collection. The gilded electroplated edges will play handsomely off the Cabot gold flatware.

St. Frank Indigo Arrows Tray

After dinner, keep the party going late into the night with cocktails served alfresco under the stars with this gorgeous cloth-covered tray. Everything in the boutique produces is pure perfection, and their repeating arrow pattern tray is no exception.

Milly Selena Short Italian Cady Dress

 

Though I’m not one to wholeheartedly subscribe to antiquated social rules, there aren’t many instances to wear head-to-toe white in the fall and winter months. Embrace the last seconds of summer by donning this shift in the ingénue hue. If you ask me, the flirtatious neckline and billowing arms are the pinnacle of hostess-chic.

Rebecca De Ravenel Les Bonbons Earrings

 

I’m besotted with these rotund earrings, aptly called “Les Bonbons.” It’s as though the blueberry-colored confections were designed with this specific party in mind! The handcrafted silk threads in tones from pale blue to dark cerulean complement both the dinner table and off-the shoulder dress. With this finishing touch, you’ll be utterly flawless for your summer finale.

Playlist

 

Recipe:

Liz Curtis’ Lobster Pot Pie

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 lobster tails
  • 2 C frozen peas
  • 1 C clamshell mushrooms
  • 2 T flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 2 C lobster bisque (store-bought)
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 2 eggs + 2 T water
  • ½ C dry sherry
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1)     Preheat oven to 400 degrees, remove puff pastry from freezer

2)     Crack lobster tails, remove meat, and cut into 1-inch chunks

3)     Remove stems from mushrooms and mince parsley

4)     Heat butter in skillet, then sauté mushrooms for 5 minutes

5)     Add lobster, peas, parsley, sherry and sauté for 3 minutes

6)     Divide mixture into four 6 oz. ramekins

7)     Pour ½ cup store-bought lobster bisque over each ramekin, carefully stir to combine, and top with salt and pepper

8)     Using a cutting board and rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry (sprinkle a little flour if the puff pastry becomes sticky)

9)     Cut out circles ½-inch larger in diameter than your ramekins, place one over each ramekin, and then press down sides

10)  Using a knife, puncture three holes in each puff pastry to vent

11)  Whisk egg and water, brush over each pastry topper

12)  Bake for 20 minutes, serve hot

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