Wine glasses at dinner table

So my parents used to have these themed dinner parties in the 80’s. The same couples would have a rotating soiree once a month, and the host would set the theme. I distinctly recall chez Robbins hosting an African and French night (though not at the same time, that would be too colonial).

Welcome craft

For the French fete, my mom made this Bienvenue banner to welcome guests, which I, the hoarder, kept

As a kid, these parties were like, the best ever. Realizing tipsy parents didn’t seem to notice how late you stayed up or that a wee bit o’ blackberry brandy went missing (to make the most vile concoction with Grenadine and Ginger-Ale). Ever wonder what’s in Grenadine anyway? It’s not pretty.

Anyway, now that I’m of the age when I do all the things my parents did, but swore I never would, it made sense to organize a dinner party around a French theme as a reunion of sorts, for the gang that went to the Dordogne last year for our friend’s wedding.

Appetizer Buffet table

Naturellement, there had to be a French theme. Everyone brought their favourite French dish plus a bottle of (French) wine. The pic above is of the  appetizers we feasetd on in France last year.

wine and cheese This was the remains of the snack table from our potluck.

Salad with goat's cheese

Salade au chevre is always a winner. I made coq au vin, truly my favourite French entree, but one that I now realize I’ve never eaten in France. It must have been that dinner party cirqua 1986 where I first tried it, likely cold, the morning after.

Lemon pie

The evening concluded with this luscious lemon tart from Yum Bakery. So good! So full! Such fun to revive last autumn in France. Plus, I learned that French country is not just a poncy design scheme. Who knew?

Do you make a point to have dinner parties or do you find the whole process to Martha Stewart-y?