Fresh produce, icy treats, string lights, lanterns and the smell of barbecue—there’s something so magical about summer entertaining! This season, we’re staring off a mini-series where we will be chatting with some of our favorite people about how they do summer entertaining. They’ll be sharing everything from their go-to cocktail and their playlist must-haves to their biggest entertaining fails.
Today, we’re talking with one of our all-time style favorites, Samantha Wennerstrom from Could I Have That? If you aren’t familiar with Samantha, she started her blog back in 2009 (we’ve been following from the very beginning) and currently resides in beautiful Santa Barbara with her husband and young daughter, Elin. She’s our go-to for finding all things chic and stylish and we know you’ll enjoy seeing how she does summer entertaining.
Describe your overall entertaining philosophy in three words?
Simple, fresh and relaxed.
How often do you entertain and what are your favorite type of gatherings to host?
We usually have friends or family over once or twice a week. Sometimes it’s as casual as drinking rosé in our backyard while the kids play to a full dinner party.
What’s your favorite thing about Summer entertaining?
Getting to be outside. There’s nothing better than setting up a table outside and basking in that evening heat.
What five things do you always have on hand in case of unexpected guests or visitors?
Do you have a go-to cocktail?
Prosecco with a splash of Aperol.
Favorite summer dishes to serve?
Lemon Curd Tart for dessert—it’s incredibly refreshing on a hot day and super easy to make. Plus, you can use any leftover curd on your pancakes the next morning.
What’s on your dinner party play list?
Depends on the crowd, but usually it’s something along these lines: Lord Huron, Ryan Adams, Petit Biscuit, SOHN, Leon Bridges and The Rolling Stones. We have Sonos in our home, so there’s constantly something playing and there really isn’t much I don’t like.
Your go-to hostess outfit?
Best tip for making your guests feel welcome and relaxed?
Greet them with a cocktail!
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone hosting their first party or dinner?
Plan as much as you can ahead of time so you can enjoy yourself, too.
Do you have any advice for people who entertain in small spaces?
Get creative with seating, the more places there are to lounge (whether that’s a floor cushion or an ottoman/stool), the better. If you have outdoor space, make it inviting and set up a blanket and pillows to lounge on. I love using the throw beds by Hedgehouse.
Any entertaining tips for people on a budget?
Ask everyone to bring a little something to the table. It’s a great way to cut the cost and take some of the pressure off of you.
Fill in the blank: When it comes to summer entertaining you can never have enough____.
What was your biggest entertaining fail?
Botching a recipe completely and ordering pizza in. It was comical, and luckily our guests were my parents.