Alfresco!

Alfresco!

“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.”
– Wallace Stevens

Summer is the season for the great outdoors, especially when it comes to entertaining. Long days, warm nights and nature’s full bloom make for ideal conditions and a multitude of possible settings.

What better way to celebrate the garden than by throwing a party in one? At a cocktail party in honor of Matthew’s book, Italy of My Dreams, this lovely Los Angeles garden buffet was the definition of simple elegance. Gorgeous white linens, mouth-watering bowls of fresh fruit, artfully assembled platters of antipasto, and vibrant lettuce leaf plates showcase summer’s bounty. As the Italians would say, abbondanza!

picnic

Photo by Matthew White

Picnics are often wonderfully simple affairs, but sometimes it’s nice to go the extra mile. For this country outing, Matthew left the plastic behind, and trotted out the glassware, china and vintage silver. An assortment of wicker hampers certainly outshines the standard Igloo cooler, and old-fashioned entertainment is in the offing thanks to a ukulele and ample reading material. To keep the blush in the bottle and not on his guests’ faces, a sun umbrella and plenty of sunscreen completes the package.

poolside

Photo by Frank Webb

Poolside partying provides a host of options from action-packed, daytime dunks to glimmeringly glamorous evening soirees. At Frank’s modern country home, he likes to start the evening with cocktails by the pool. Natural stone and lush plantings provide the perfect backdrop for crisp white furnishings, including must-have drink tables from White Webb’s Clearly Classic Collection. Bright yellow serving trays, colorful specialty cocktails, and flickering lanterns spice up the mix and put a warm glow on smiling faces.

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