Entertaining Blueprint with Tara Guérard

2nd Edition
Tara Guerard
Renowned Charleston and New York City-based event designer Tara Guérard brings gracious hospitality to life at its best and most beautiful. From spectacular weddings to unforgettable fêtes, Tara and her team at Soireé have come to define premier entertaining. For a lively ladies luncheon, Tara makes it look impossibly simple.
The Food
I keep things light and easy with pick-up hors d'oeuvres. Surprising pairings like an antipasto display with assorted cured meats and artisan cheeses with accouterments like Southern pecans keeps things fresh. And a savory spinach pie with feta, garlic, onions, swiss cheese and lots of spinach ensures that no one goes hungry.

I always include a large serving of deviled eggs, using my mother-in-law's famous recipe. Since it's the summertime, I will prepare roasted and chilled asparagus spears and a creamy tomato bisque to round out the menu.

The Drink
We'll serve champagne, beer, wine, and sparkling water. I mix up my acclaimed Bloody Mary cocktails in advance and present them in petite juice glasses garnished with pickled okra and a festive drink flag! Display the vodka with frozen lavender springs in an ice bucket to keep it chilled. Coffee and tea are always nice with dessert; adorning the coffee saucers with lavender sweet pea blooms adds an elegant touch and pairs perfectly with the white coconut cake. Champagne flutes topped with orchid blooms make another sweet detail.
Bloody Mary Recipe
Inspired Design
I will use lavender sweet peas everywhere! They’re delicate and sweet—perfect for the occasion. In lieu of a plated luncheon, a table will be set in the garden with the bite-size hors d’oeuvres served on family china.
FOR THIS TYPE OF EVENT, I LOVE A LIGHT MIX of Miles Davis, Gypsy Kings, Buena Vista Social Club, and Cesaria Evora. My husband loves the fact that we have the garden wired with a sound system…we use it all the time!
Rules of Entertaining
  • I always try to make my guests feel at home. Make sure they have a drink in hand at all times and comfortable places to sit.
  • If you have limited bar options during a day setting, make sure you always have provisions on hand should a guest want something more.
  • Always have linen cocktail napkins and never, ever use plastic drink ware or service ware!
The Essentials Small Utensil CrockCast Iron Au GratinLarge Serving PlatterStoneware Pitcher