By Karen Parr-Moody
We’re so bored with fall parties that are all about sweatshirts, jeans and a plastic bowl full of kettle corn. One must try to make a party more interesting, no? Celebrate those crisp fall days and nights with chic decor, delectable food and sassy cocktails. Sure, a chili cook-off among neighbors can be low-key, but one must include the requisite items to add some pizzazz. Think about outdoor games, such as the Englishman’s croquet or the Italian’s bocce ball (can we just say “tata” to cornhole?). Bring on the lap blankets to keep guests toasty as they sip wine on the front porch. Use midcentury modern serving ware and glasses to perk up the tabletops. Herewith, a few items to employ at your next cozy outdoor fete.
You’ll see sparkles under the moonlight with this mid-century modern pitcher and five matching glasses at the original GasLamp (Booth B-538). The gilt on these pieces is as shiny as if it were on the shelves of some high-end department store, circa 1962. We love the height on the pitcher, as it will look sleek while pouring loads of cocktails (the more the merrier!). The booth also has a lime green and gold juice set, which would be fine for serving after-dinner doses of port, cognac or brandy. (We feel warmer already!).
If you’re going to serve cocktails, then you’ll certainly need an ice bucket. We can find none chicer than those saved from the mid-century era. Take this retro ice bucket in black, for example ($32; Booth B-317). We love the simple form and the brass-toned handle on the top. It’s functional, yet fashionable.
Want to warm guests up with a steaming drink? Then you need this divine tea service that hails from 1975 ($95; Booth B-357). It includes a teapot, creamer, sugar, six cups/saucers and two plates. But it’s not just any tea service: It was designed by the artist Bjørn Wiinblad for Rosenthal, Studio-Line in Germany. Wiinblad, a Danish painter, designer and artist, worked in ceramics, silver, bronze, textiles and graphics. Made of ceramic, this set is screened with his whimsical paintings that depict the legend of Till Eulenspiegel, a 14th-century German peasant known as The Merry Prankster. This mischievous fellow gained fame by playing jokes around the town. Isn’t it as charming as can be?
If you want to turn your back patio into a fall bonanza for loads of guests, amend your patio furniture with hay bales as seating. It adds to the fall charm, but to keep it looking more “fancy” than “farm,” fold gorgeous blankets into rectangles and place them over the bales: It dresses up the aesthetic and makes the seats a little comfier. (Remember to string some fairy lights across the patio for ambiance.)
Regardless of where your guests sit, if you’re hosting an outdoor party for fall, you must provide warm blankets. We love this tartan plaid blanket that’s on view at the original GasLamp (Booth B-306; $24). Made of luxurious wool, this throw features a deep red color that reminds us of the one Diana Vreeland once described: “Rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple.” It’s beyond perfect for fall.
Final tips: Set that fire pit ablaze to set the stage. There’s nothing quite as magical as a crackling fire during a nighttime gathering. Of course, you’ll want to toast marshmallows after dinner, but keep those treats glamorous by using Belgian chocolate and adding soft salted caramel. Delish!
Header photo by Magda Fou on Unsplash; GasLamp photos by Karen Parr-Moody.