Brunch is the ultimate casual meal for the ultimate casual season, so go ahead and celebrate the warmer weather over a morning repast with the people you love. Here, our top ten ways to keep brunch simple but special.
2. Camouflage an inexpensive folding table with a tablecloth. Don’t have a proper tablecloth? Fold a queen-sized sheet in half lengthwise or buy a length of muslin at a sewing store and leave the edges raw.
3. Cut flowers or foliage from your own garden to add color and tie your table setting to the surroundings.
4. Serve slices of fresh melon instead of a labor-intensive fruit salad or dessert for a taste of pure summer that only takes a minute to get on the table.
5. Provide plenty of water — but make it special. Add lemon slices and/or mint to add flavor and dress up everyday tap.
6. Set out a pitcher or drink dispenser (such as the ones from Aladdin’s Mason collection shown here) so you don’t have to keep getting up to refill glasses.
7. Put a bowl of fresh fruit on the table for an easy centerpiece that doubles as brunch fare. Just don’t forget to tell guests to help themselves or they may think it’s just for decoration.
8. Streamline the menu. Forget pancakes, omelets, and any other dish you have to cook one at a time. Your guests want to spend time with you, not have you slave over a stove. Serve a salad with cold salmon — you can prep both ahead — and simply dress the salad when guests arrive. Add a basket of baguette slices and some breakfast pastries on the side and brunch is served.
9. Serve iced coffee. If it’s before noon, die-hard caffeine devotees will expect coffee — but a refreshing cold cup on a hot day is a surprising delight. Just brew coffee as you usually would, but use half the water and put an equal amount of ice in your coffee pot so your fresh brew is immediately chilled without getting watered down.
10. Propose a toast. Even if it’s “just” brunch and there’s no alcohol involved, celebrate friends and family by raising a glass and telling them how much you love spending time together. Cheers!