Do you know the difference between having friends over for dinner and hosting a dinner party?
It's the tablescape.
The husband and I are fans of both options, but I particularly fancy the dinner party for a chance to step into a culinary and decorative destination of my own choosing. Ironically, there's just something freeing about limiting myself to a specific theme, making entertaining easier and more natural. With a dinner party, I get to create an atmospheric experience of sorts for our guests, whereas when friends come over for dinner, the focus is primarily on the food.
I suppose one could say that I use decor to compensate for my inability to create an elaborate meal. But at the end of the night what matters most is the conversations shared and memories made; true friends won't mind if you've put effort into the tablescape but served store-bought chocolate ganache cake. It's chocolate ganache cake, after all. How could anyone possibly be unhappy?
So don't be fooled by the extravagant, Marie Antoinette-inspired theme; this particular dinner party, as you will see, is as easy and effortless as they come – if only because it requires no cooking!
Let's talk about the menu.
"Let them eat cake," is the traditional translation of the phrase, "Qu'ils man gent de la brioche", supposedly spoken by Queen Marie Antoinette when she first learned that the peasants had no bread to eat. In light of this world-famous phrase, I chose to host a desserts party in lieu of a traditional dinner. Seems quite fitting, right?
Ironically, historians to this day debate whether it was actually Marie Antoinette who spoke those words, as there is no record of her ever having said that.
Back to desserts. Macarons are, of course, a must for a French-themed soirée. I also decorated the table with chocolates of all sorts – the fancier the display, the better.
Copper goblets overflowing with grapes seemed like a splendid idea – not only to provide a break for the palate from all the chocolate but also because there's just something so bourgeoisie about the fruit.
Last but not least is the aforementioned chocolate ganache cake – because nothing says "extravagance" like layers of chocolate cake smothered in chocolate ganache filling with elaborate chocolate detailing on top.
Another over-the-top detail that perfectly fit the theme is our monogrammed silverware. Ours was a wedding gift five years ago and has the loveliest script "S" – for Strelkov.
Most of the decorations – the silk flowers, candles, candle holders, napkins, napkin rings, chargers, etc. – were items I already owned. It helped that most of these items were either white, pink, gold or silver, which fit the Marie Antoinette theme.
Even the stenciled mirror that hangs in our dining room was perfect for the occasion, with its ornate gold frame and typed-out inscription (never mind that the language is totally off – maybe someone won't notice, ha!)
Marie Antoinette may not have been the most beloved of queens, but there's no denying her exceptionally good taste and ability to host a party.
I hope these photos inspire you to host your own dinner party complete with a fun theme. What theme would you choose?
Thank you to Wayfair.com for kindly sponsoring this post. All writing and opinions are always my own and never influenced by gifted products or any type of compensation.