Southern Ladies' Luncheon: The Art of Preparation & Presentation

I was raised in the deep South and have always appreciated true Southern Hospitality. Recently, I was in my home town and enjoyed helping my mom put a "Southern ladies' luncheon" together for a very special guest. It gave us a chance to enjoy decorating, cooking, arranging and preparing for our event which is something we both love doing. Our gathering was small but consisted of a group of mothers and daughters who'd been friends for over 45 years. 

Entertaining for any party, lunch, or dinner, doesn't have to be complicated but a few small special touches can make all the difference. It's those little touches I've always appreciated, and as our lives get busier and busier, it's nice to take a little extra time making the presentation special. 

Our table was decorated with two simple flower arrangements. We found some pretty tulips at Trader Joe's and loved the beauty and color of these flowers but there was only one bunch of these tulips left! Knowing we'd need two arrangements for our table of nine, I found some boxwood to use as a filler in our arrangements. This would be perfect for our two containers—ceramic pots—and what an easy but effective display these tulips made on our table!


We had fun gathering linens and china for our lunch. We've enjoyed collecting these things for years and between the two of us we have quite a collection from flea markets and antique stores! We also found the cutest little ceramic "place markers" that Mom had made years ago. With a little sprig of rosemary, and the names written with an erasable marker, these were the perfect added touch to each place setting. The menu was simple, beginning with pink lemonade when our guests arrived, followed by chicken salad, sour cream muffins and a lemon mousse for dessert. The best part, however, was visiting with long-time friends who seem like family.

Before our guests departed I presented everyone a handmade card I'd made using a special collection of fabric and lace scraps that were given to me by our guest of honor, Charlotte. She had recently sent me a collection of remnants from heirloom sewing projects that she'd made over the years and I've been using these things in a variety of projects. See instructions for making Charlotte's lace card project here, where I demonstrate ways to recycle lovely bits and pieces from the past. It's so easy to use small pieces of lace, fabric, paper and buttons to create an extra-special favor for extra-special friends!

You might also enjoy Wine & Words: Women's Book Club night, and other entertaining and recipe posts.