When I'm setting up for an event, I daydream a bit about what the builders of our 100 year old barn would think if they witnessed our wonderful dinners: dismay and certainly shock at eating in the barn, right? I am so thankful that they put time and energy into building well, and in the end, I do believe they would thoroughly enjoy the fellowship, laughter and good times that happen in our lovely and absolutely perfect little barn.
Our first dinner of the spring was a side step from the past years strictly "farm to table" set up. The idea was hatched over a wine vendor lunch. Remember our October blog post "A Glass of Vino, Please"? You know the the one about our "working" lunch that involved rosé and lots of bacon? Yep, that's the one!
We were introduced to a very special Spanish red that day that revved up our taste buds for Spanish tapas and had us daydreaming of a dinner experience in the barn; one filled with the lively buzz of good conversation and laughter, the sampling of wines produced from far away exotic lands, and the leisurely enjoyment of a decadent meal, all aspects of which recreate the famous Tapas tours of Madrid.
Setting a beautiful table is the first "taste" of a dinner experience and the initial peek into the quality of the hospitality you are about to receive. It's so much more than decorating and we don't take the job lightly. Colorful menus rest atop each simple white plate and natural linen napkins wait for service.
Finishing touches and bottles at the ready!
Thick glass, European style bottles are filled with cold water and placed in the center of the tables to share.
We throw seating charts out the window and guests arrive to pick their perfect seat.
And so the evening begins with a simple cheese, Spanish olives, and spiced almond board. The most memorable experiences should have elements of both the familiar and the completely new in them, don't you think?
The glow of the lights inside the barn makes for a magic atmosphere!
Ending on a sweet note is the best and only way I can think to close out such a wonderful meal and evening. Maybe it's my southern roots, but we always have a tendency to over-emphasize that magical course called dessert. Why offer just one, when it's so much more fun to make (and eat) three?