Magazine article Sunset

It's Different out Here

Magazine article Sunset

It's Different out Here

Article excerpt

OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING

In the West, w* can hike in January, picnic in March, and even celebrate Thanksgiving- at least partly- outdoors. Here are our 20 tips for taking the holiday outside

Early-evening cocktails

Even if it's too brisk for an entire open-air dinner you can still start the party alfresco

1 HANDS-FREE HOSTING. Set up an aperitif and appet cart with pour-your-own cocktails and grabbable nibbles.

2 CREATIVE COOLER Keep the bubbly on ice in a garden pot.

3 QUICK. SPRITZER Instead of the expected cranberry, surprise your guests with pear: Fill a glass halfway with pear nectar (we like Kern's) and top it with your favorite prosecco.

4 EASY EATS Make your own toasted herbed almonds: Combine 2 cups raw almonds, 2 tbsp. sea salt, t tbsp. finely minced rosemary, and 2 tsp. olive oil. Roast on a sheet pan fono to 72 minutes at 350o.

5 DIY DRINK IDS With a pencil, trace the base of each cocktail glass onto heavy paper stock (a good use for old calendar pages or catalog covers). Next, use a dime to trace a circle within your circle, then cut around both and snip across one side of the "doughnut." Write a guest's name on each.

6 INTERACTIVE AMBIENCE Set up a record player and a selection of albums - ask guests to bring their favorites and encourage all to play DJ. An iPod boom box works too.

GET IT

SNACK BOWLS Streak-Dyed bowls by Urban Outfitters (Í8 each; urbanoutfitters.com]. CHAMPAGNE cooler Bigarra planter by Ikea (525; iliea-u5a.com). RECORD PLAYER USB turntable by Crosley (5131; amazon.com). CALENDAR Good on Paper by Lisa Wong Jackson ($20; goodon paperdesian.com).

The whole! nine yards

If your climate is temperate enough, go ahead-move the drnner table outside

7 GARDEN CENTERPIECE Keep it Low and give the gourds a rest. Make a casual garland with clippings from your own yard- ours was inspired by one on the blog Oh Happy Day (jordanferney. bloQspot.com).

8 VERSATILE FURNITURE Mix indoor dining chairs with outdoor ones as the length of your guest list grows. We used a table with wheels to make it even easier to bring the party outside.

LOCATION Designer: Chad DeWitt landscape designer: Patricia St. John (stjohfiiandscapes.com or 510/848-5673]

EASY WAYS TO DECORATE WITH NATURAL MATERIALS: sunset. com/naturaltabie#

9 JUST IN CASE Draped throws on the backs of dinin chairs offer warmth-asneeded for guests1- and another punch of color.

10 IN THE FRAME With a canopy, any outdoor area can feel like an outdoor room. Here, a retractable sailcloth awning floats overhead like clouds.

11 CRISP PALETTE Who says Thanksgiving decor has to be dictated by the colors of turkey feathers? …

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