This garden party guide includes harmonious décor and menu inspiration to impress your guests with sophisticated pastels and natural elements. Part 2 - Garden Party Menu & Hostess Gifts

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Are you hosting Easter brunch with family or gathering friends for a sophisticated dinner party to celebrate an additional hour of sunlight? This guide can be adapted to either setting with minor changes in the menu and decor.

Garden Party Menu

Recipes

One of my favorite places to find recipe inspiration is the Food Network website. The following slideshow-format articles are an excellent place to start when building a menu from scratch: Recipes for Spring Entertaining, Easter Brunch Recipes, and Our Best Easter Recipes.

These are my favorites from the Spring and Easter collections, listed by meal and category.

Brunch

E g g s » Spring Frittata and Carrot Hash with Eggs and Pesto

S w e e t s » Lemon Blueberry French Toast Bake and Sticky Monkey Bread

F r u i t » Herb Melon Salad (served in a melon-shaped Vegetabowl, of course!)

Dinner

B r e a d + A p p e t i z e r s » Popovers and Sweet Pea Dip

S o u p » Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables and Chilled Pea Soup with Spicy Crab

M a i n C o u r s e » Lemon Buttered Seared Scallops and Creamy Herbed Easter Ham and Pea Pasta Salad

V e g g i e s + S i d e s » Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Swiss Chard and Herb Tart

Snacks and Sweets

If your garden party is more “graze-as-you-go” than formal, seated meal, create a colorful snack spread.

Jellybeans stored in Weck jars are decorative, efficient, and tasty.

Photo credit: Terrain

Use egg cartons to display chocolate eggs or mini cupcakes.

Photo credit: Terrain

Incorporate pastel-colored candy into sweet treats like Rice Crispy treats and caramel popcorn.

Photo credit: Terrain

You likely have not considered lollipops while menu planning, but hear me out! These lollipops from Aborella Organics feature herb, flower, and fruit flavors like Strawberry and Basil, Peach and Marigold, and Lemon and Thyme. The sticks are biodegradable and intended to be planted. Each flavor contains a different species of seed with simple instructions for planting after the treat has been consumed. Delight your guests with an individually wrapped, gourmet lollipop at each place setting at the table.

Photo credit: Amborella Organics

Foods that are less sweet but equally grazable and springy include deviled eggs and sweet pea dip (see recipe link above).

Beverages

For those of you who may not be familiar, a shrub is a fruit- and vinegar-based syrup. Shrubs can be used in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, such as club soda or vodka spritzes. Terra Luna Herbals makes several flavors of shrubs with herbs from their garden in Philadelphia. I can think of no better drink for a garden party than one with a splash of Grapefruit and Rosemary Shrub!

Photo credit: Terra Luna Herbals

When it’s time for coffee or tea, impress your guests with the most fitting flower-shaped sugar cubes. The variety pack includes white, amber, and dark cane sugar cubes.

Photo credit: Terrain

Hostess Gifts

Are you a guest at a garden party? These etched glass or etched metal eggs are beautiful on their own or as part of an egg tree display.

Photo credit: Terrain
Photo credit: Terrain

Hostesses spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and they can never have too many tea towels like the plant-inspired collection from The Darling Bower.

Photo credit: The Darling Bower

A hostess with a sweet tooth would appreciate this honey flight.

Photo credit: Terrain

Of course, a bottle of rosé is always welcome at a garden party, and there are plenty of wineries to visit in the Greater Philadelphia area. Did I mention all of these products are from Philadelphia-area retailers? Local finds with the convenience of online shopping are the best!

Mother Nature is always first on a garden party guest list.

Does this all sound great, but you’re looking for information on setting a location and guest list and choosing décor? Click over to Part 1 of the Garden Party Guide series.

Garden Party

What recipes are you bookmarking? Share your party planning tips, questions, and feedback in the comments. Then send me an invite to your next garden party!