The saying, “You never know how many friends you have until you own a place at the beach” is especially true on Bald Head Island. Fortunately, most homeowners are so smitten with the island, they delight in sharing it with family and friends.
As a result, entertaining on Bald Head is typically more joy than job, and the island’s carefree atmosphere translates into a more laidback entertaining style. We’ve put together some of our favorite ideas and tips, but you will likely find plenty of inspiration all around you, so get those creative juices flowing.
Take It Outside
Dining al fresco sets up an easy, relaxed vibe. Whether by the sea, in the harbor, along the marsh or in the forest, you’ll find the surrounding scenery renders elaborate decorating unnecessary. Let nature provide the backdrop and set up your table to take advantage of the best views.
Light Up Your Life
Stringing white lights on porches, between trees or just on poles instantly says: Party. Most department stores carry various styles, with white bulbs the most popular. Be sure you have extension cords of adequate length and a color that will blend with, rather than clash with, your surroundings.
Think Outside the Bud
Flowers are always lovely, and you can often find gorgeous ones at the Maritime Market. However, you can set a perfectly pretty table without them. Consider using driftwood and shells to decorate, either in jars or strewn across a runner the length of the table. Or go green with a few cuttings of vines, leaves or branches. A single palm frond in a vase makes a big statement. Be aware, however, that the island is protective of its vegetation for sound environmental reasons and removing many species is prohibited. Just keep to a few snips of a very healthy plant and you will be fine.
Made in the Shade
Depending on the time of the day, you may want to provide some sun protection for your guests. If you aren’t fortunate enough to have generous covered porches, consider a pop-up tent or even a white sheet strategically placed on poles. Done right, a ceiling of sorts can add intimacy for your gathering.
They’ll Drink to That
Summer sun increases thirst, so be sure to have plenty of liquid options available. Infused water (think lemons, limes, cucumbers, mint, watermelon) is refreshing and festive, and will keep your guests hydrated. Put a variety of beers and wines in a cooler, and set up some liquor options with mixers on a simply draped card table. If you have a signature cocktail (Mai Tai, anyone?), by all means make it by the pitcher and keep it coming.
Dinner Is Served
It’s best to keep the menu simple and light, too. Summer is the height of the season for scrumptious fruits and vegetables, so think salads and cold plates. If you want to grill, be sure to place it away from your guests, so they won’t be bothered by the smoke and heat. The Maritime Market will likely have all the ingredients you desire, as well as ready-made take-out items that make nice sides or even full entrees. Give them a call in advance, and you might be able to let them do all your cooking.
Now just call your friends and family members and get the party started. Happy summer!
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