June 29, 2014 | Henri of Henri's Reserve
Brunch is a far less formal affair than evening dinner, but you still want your guests to have an exceptional experience. If the weather is suitable, host your event outdoors to accentuate a light, breezy feel. Invite your close friends, but encourage them to bring their friends – the casualness of the event makes it a perfect time to build new friendships. Use these eight tips to steer away from the same-old-same-old and make your brunch a cut above the rest.
1. Abolish your own stress.
Naturally, you want your guests to be at ease. If the host is stressed and anxious, your guests will pick up on it. They will feel uncomfortable and out of place. You can avoid tension by preparing for your event in advance so you can spend your time seeing to your guests’ needs and listening to their stories of last night.
Set the table the night before and don’t forget glasses. Fix your Blood Marry mix or mimosa blend. Create a menu that allows for early preparation. Pancakes require your attention, but French toast can be prepared early and baked while you serve drinks. Even crepes can be made ahead of time. If you wish to have eggs, serve quiche or strata. More time with guests will help ease stress.
2. Never limit your event.
Brunch is a flexible event. Some of your guests will have plans for their Saturday or Sunday, but many will have nothing to do. The most successful brunches can last until dinnertime.
Don’t hurry your guests through their meal or give any subtle cues that the event is over. Clear the table, but leave clean up until later. Don’t be afraid to use brunch to springboard into further activities with the group – perhaps a game of tennis or afternoon shopping.
3. Treat them like royalty.
Serve elegant Champagne or add an unexpected element, perhaps something entertaining. The proverbial sparkling cocktail for mornings is the mimosa, a simple mix of Champagne and orange juice. Dial up your party and treat guests to a Champagne tasting. Open a new world to them: the seductive world of boutique, Family Estate Champagnes. While tasting Blanc de Blancs, Rosé, Blanc de Noirs, and more, they will truly feel like royalty. Don’t serve the same-old-same-old Champagnes; show you are in the know. Serve them the same Champagnes they would find in fine restaurants. Be their Master Sommelier.
4. Keep the menu light and surprise them with unusual food pairings.
Late morning meals should be light and airy. Your guests who were up the previous evening won’t be prepared for a heavy meal. Rather than baked breads, serve Danishes and scones.
Fruit is an exceptional complement to any meal. It’s gentle, tasty, hydrating, and the colors break up an otherwise monochromatic plate. Take care to pair your fruit carefully with your chosen Champagne. Pair Blanc de Noirs with egg dishes, smoked salmon, and roasted dishes. Combine Rosés with soft cheese, BBQ, lobster. Enjoy Bruts with hard cheeses, ham, and chicken.
Serve your meats and cheeses in small, pre-sliced portions so your guests can enjoy them without committing to a large helping.
5. Create a dramatic presentation.
Typically, brunch foods are light and simple, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be displayed artfully. They say we eat with our eyes first, so take care to please the visual senses.
Use pedestals or elegant ranks to raise some dishes above others. Mix colors to create contrast. Add colorful garnishes to the dishes and tables to create a vibrant spread.
6. Mind the details.
Choose a color scheme with a variety of bright colors. Since you won’t be hanging decorations, you’ll have to incorporate colors in more traditional ways. Use bright napkins and patterned dinnerware. Be sure to arrange fresh flowers in any place people might gather, whether that’s an entryway, table, or sitting area.
7. Add some fun.
The quintessential brunch is a relaxing affair, but prepare some light entertainment just in case you need ice breakers or added fun. A game of charades, horseshoes, Bocce Ball, or croquet are all low-key activities perfect for brunch. You can set up your dining area outside so that the games can be played while the crowd watches. Another way to add some fun is to offer a Champagne tasting and educate your guests on all the different types of Champagne.
8. Enjoy your company.
Remember the purpose of brunch is to have a relaxing, fun gathering of friends and to even meet new faces. Delegate tasks so you are present with your guests. Guests like to be involved so don’t think twice about asking for help. Assign someone to serve coffee and drinks and ask someone else to help gather plates and utensils no longer being used. Serve your food buffet-style so there is less work bringing dishes in and out of the kitchen to serve.
Brunch is such a delightful occasion and it can be set up easily and with limited stress! Do you have any brunch photos to share? Post on Instagram using #champagnebrunch and #henrisreserve.
Written by Henri of Henri's Reserve
Henri’s Reserve is an e-boutique devoted to champagne lovers. We are a gateway to the seductive world of Family Estate bubblies; a place to sit back and indulge in the joie de champagne. Henri’s Reserve offers exceptional grower champagnes with true depth and subtlety—original tastes you won’t find anywhere else. Our collection consists of handcrafted, estate-bottled champagnes produced by houses that ship often less than 5,000 cases a year and produce vastly fewer of their cuvée spéciales.
Quality and exclusivity is what you experience with Henri’s Reserve. Be the “I want to go to their house” host. Don’t serve the same-old-same-old. Help your friends discover the world of Family Estate Champagnes and be the joy delivering gift-giver. Henri’s Reserve opens the world of Champagnes to you with a Champagne Club - receive magnificent bottles of champagne every month with “Henri’s Club.”
Learn more at www.henrisreserve.com.
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