Gatherings | A simple mid-summer solstice celebration…

Jun 19,2018|

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where the Oxslips and the nodding Violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious Woodbine,
With sweet musk-rose and with Eglantine.”
Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare.

Mid-Summer is here… the longest day of the year, a chance to revel in all the glorious abundance that full summer brings. We love to celebrate solstice with a special feast, with a table full to bursting with seasonal blooms and in ripe fruits and vegetables.

Fresh summer produce needs to be celebrated and put on centre stage, as does the froth and bounty of the garden at this time of year.

Let me show you how I would set the table for a celebration of summer, to be shared with good friends and family.

Candle light, foraged blooms, pretty crockery, white linens and old silver cutlery.  Mid-Summer, is a time to celebrate each other, the day light and the coming warm months.

I love to decorate the table with flowers from the garden, roses and blossom.  Here there are a few daffodils, and yes they are now over for this year, so why not use pretty cosmos or peonies instead.  Use what you have to hand, forage sustainably and never take more than you need. Support your local florist by purchasing your roses and ‘hero’ blooms to add to your foraged finds.

For a tutorial on how to make a pretty centrepiece for you table.  Have a read of Erin’s blog post for ideas and crafty tips.

Here, the table has been covered with a simple white cotton table cloth from Ikea (the napkins match).  As much as I love linen table cloths, not everyone has the budget to purchase those expensive things!  So use what you have… and to be honest this cheap Ikea tablecloth does the job brilliantly.

For each placement I used a simple white plate (these are from Rose & Grey), the Ikea cotton napkin, a piece of natural twine wrapped around it and a new season Wye Valley asparagus to decorate.  That vibrant green and fresh quality is better than a flower any day!  You could also use fruit to decorate, a small apricot or fresh cherries to add a pretty stylish twist.

For crockery I have used old silver cutlery, sourced from car boot sales and junk shops.  More mis-matched the better.

A celebration needs candle light.  Here I sourced dinner candles in soft taupe and grey to compliment the flowers and the food on the table.  Nothing too jarring or stark as pure white candles.  If you wanted to jazz it up, why not add bring coral coloured candles or orange.  As the flowers here are the main focus, I chose small ceramic candle holders, these too are from Ikea.

To drink?  These glasses and carafe are from Rose and Grey by Ferm Living.  Fluted and striking they are a level of edgy decadence to the table.

And what to eat?  Food to celebrate!  Think foraged edible flowers, fresh seafood and summer berries.  So forgo anything too complicated and let fresh local seasonal produce shine.

Suggested menu:

Solstice menu

Starter
Simple pea salad with goats cheese
or
Asparagus, egg, dill & caper toasts

Main
Moules Mariniere
Crisp leafy salad

Dessert
Eton Mess
Strawberry & lavender Ice-cream

Drinks
Elderflower Champagne
Raspberry Bellinis
***

Styling Details:
Table cloth & Napkins – Ikea.
Candles – The Nordic House
White Plates – Rose & Grey
Carafe – Rose & Grey
Glasses – Rose & Grey
So, how will you be celebrating this wonderful day… fingers crossed for sunshine!  And for those of you Sister’s in the Southern Hemisphere…. how will you be celebrating mid-winter solstice?  Leave us a comment below.

With special thanks to:

Erin Trezise-Wallace for her stunning flowers.

Cathy Jolliffe & family for being such fun and fabulous guests

Silkie Lloyd for capturing it all through her camera

Claire Thomson for cooking up a feast to remember.


Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and the founder of Sisterhood Camp.

Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and can be found over on her blog Littlegreenshed, where she shares her life, loves and inspiration. Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.

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