This Greek dinner party was loosely inspired by the colors and flavors of the Adriatic:  classic blue and white table linens; a simple, fresh, healthy menu; and a scene-stealing bougainvillea table runner.  In a world full of infinite possibilities, picking a loose theme makes decision-making a whole lot easier.  It creates a frame within which to lay out your ideas.  I hereby welcome you to Greek night!

Blue and white place setting table linens bougainvillea Greek dinner party

The reason the blue and white color combination that we associate with Greece – and especially the island of Santorini – became a stylistic emblem is twofold.  The white part is because most houses were colored white to keep them cool, and since 1974 Greek law has mandated all houses be white.  The blue part is because most Greek Orthodox churches had their domes painted blue (blue is a color associated with the “God bearer” i.e. Mary, mother of Jesus).   So it became a unifying accent color as neighborhoods took their cue from the parish church.   It is also no coincidence that blue and white are also the colors of the Greek flag 🇬🇷.

Blue and white placesetting Greek dinner party bougainvillea

For our blue and white place settings we layered Anfa blue and white linen placemats on a solid white linen tablecloth and topped with navy blue linen napkins.  Evoking a strappy Greek sandal, we tied the napkins with white leather cord and used simple plain white dinnerware.

Greek dinner party blue and white tablescape table linens bougainvillea

Having the Greek dinner party theme made picking floral arrangements easy – Bougainvillea climbs all over the blue and white houses adding vibrant color to the streets and gardens all around the Greek islands.  We replicated the look by foraging around our neighborhood in Los Angeles for clippings of the passionate, vivid red flowers to lay down the middle of the table as a runner-cum-centerpiece.

Greek dinner party appetizer goat cheese stuffed dates

The food was simple, natural and wholesome and – adhering to my golden rule of hosting – could almost entirely be made in advance.

For appetizers we stuffed dates with a mixture of goats cheese, garlic and parsley.  Side tables were adorned with olive branches, casually arranged in urns.

Halloumi watermelon appetizer navy blue linen napkin Greek dinner party

Halloumi cheese, originally from Cyprus, is under-appreciated in the US.  Grill slices of halloumi for a couple of minutes on each side and top with chunks of watermelon that you have marinated in vinegar, honey, olive oil and mint for a simple and delicious passed appetizer.  Garnish with chopped almonds.

The photographic evidence of the rest of the food is patchy!  Main course was a Greek dinner party family-style.  A passed plate feast of Greek salad, lamb meatballs, grilled chicken skewers (marinated in garlic, shallots, olive oil, honey and lemon juice), tzatziki and pitta bread.

Candlelit Greek dinner party outdoor al fresco blue and white bougainvillea runner

The house cocktail was a ‘Greek mojito’.  Replace the rum from a regular mojito with brandy (if it really is Greek, you’d use Metaxa, but any brandy will work).  I was a sceptic, but it was delicious.

The final piece of experience I have to impart: as the bougainvillea gets drier and the taper candles burn lower, there is a risk of combustion that should be gently monitored.

Buy the blue and white placesettings here.  And please let us know if you have any questions or would like to inquire about custom size tablecloths or anything else – or 213 748 3038




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *