A Book Club Brunch Party
This week I’ve been sharing a spring brunch I hosted for my book club, a dressed-up daytime party spent gathered around a pretty table talking books, sipping sparkling wine cocktails and coffee, and eating quiche with friends.
Here’s a look at the full party and the recipes I used, beginning with fresh strawberry-basil cocktails and ending with a buttery lemon cake with elderflower whipped cream. Can you think of a better way to spend a sunny weekend morning?
The Week of the BrunchIn addition to working for The Kitchn, I’m in graduate school full-time, so smart time management throughout the week was key to hosting this party without a hitch. Later this week, I’ll be sharing my detailed approach to hosting a brunch that is almost entirely made ahead of time, but here was my general prep list during the week before the gathering.
Several days before, I roasted tomatoes for the quiche, rolled out and froze the quiche crust, mixed the strawberry-basil syrup for cocktails, and started the coffee concentrate. The day before, I made the salad (minus dressing), baked the cake, and finished the coffee concentrate.
Setting Up the PartyBecause I had already planned it all in advance with my friend Beth, the table setting and decor did not take long. She arrived about an hour early, which was more than enough time for us to
Once guests began arriving, I started pouring cups of coffee and mixed the strawberry-basil syrup with a chilled bottle of sparkling wine for a round of light, refreshing cocktails to start the party. (I also had some cold soda water on hand in case anyone wanted a non-alcoholic version.)
The MealOnce I had dressed
Book Discussion & DessertAfter the plates were cleared and we spent some time discussing
A Book Club BrunchAnd that was our book club brunch! The party was exactly what I had hoped for: a chance to get dressed up, eat a special meal and talk books at a gathering that was elegant, yet still warm, fun and not fussy. Although the meal took some pre-planning, I was able to fit it all into a packed school and work schedule without having to wake up at the crack of dawn to get it all done.
Planning your own brunch party in the coming months? On Friday I’ll share some practical tips for throwing your own make-ahead brunch.
Featured Party Resources
At the Table
- More Info: A Book Club Brunch: 4 Tips for Setting a Stylish Table on a Budget
The Food & Drinks
- Cocktails: Strawberry-Basil Syrup mixed with sparkling wine (about 6 ounces syrup per bottle of wine)
- Coffee: Made from a cold-brew concentrate (look for the how-to tomorrow!)
- Salad: Crunchy Spring Salad with Dill Dressing
- Quiche: Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese Quiche
- Cake: Elderflower Lemon Cake with Elderflower Cream (I substituted St. Germain for elderflower cordial in the cake and cream)