As my last days with my office mates approach, it seemed fitting to have a little layoff shindig on the back porch to do some toasting to our time together and commiserate over the mutual loss of gainful employment.
We had a family-friendly wine and cheese party on our back deck. It was very casual and low-key, people popping in for a drink and a bite to eat in the sunshine. We listened to music, talked only a little bit about work, and got to enjoy each other's company away from our cramped little office space. I didn't take a single picture of the visiting time, but here are a few shots of the setup and space.
We lucked out with a gorgeous sunny day, a cool ocean breeze under the shade of our neighbor's overgrown trees, and mostly not a bug in sight. The best thing about planning a wine and cheese party for this group is that Mike and I are really the only drinkers in the bunch--we got to boost our supply and only choose wine that we like! Win-win.
I set up white wine on ice & glasses on the patio set, as well as pitchers of lemonade and iced tea for the sober sallies. Juiceboxes for the toddlers, as well as plenty of goldfish crackers, sliced fruit, and pretzels.
On our little kitchen high top I put out red wine & glasses & flowers & some snacks. The red wine went untouched all afternoon, so we get to look forward to popping open those bottles soon.
I didn't get any pictures of the cheese & cracker setup, but mostly that's because I was busy eating it all. I was pinspired to spray a couple of cheap plastic dollar store platters with chalkboard spray paint, and then got to label the cheeses right on the plates. It looked pretty cute, I'll admit. We went with some of our favorites--baked brie with fruit (I used orange marmalade in one & craisins in the other), a couple of herbed goat cheeses, Stilton with blueberries, cheddar with black pepper, Muenster, and baby Swiss We had loads of chips and crackers and melba toast. Nobody went hungry.
Natalie continues to battle a nasty little cold (runny nose, fever, barky cough), and wasn't really her usual sociable self throughout the gathering, but she was excited to show off her chalk and eat cheese... so I'd say she did just fine. She and her friend M had lots of fun "driving" around the backyard in Natalie's cozy coupe and jetcopter, and I was really impressed at how well they were able to share and play together without any toddler meltdowns. Good job, girls.
Overall, it was a nice little Sunday afternoon. I think we'll be making a more regular lineup of [former] staff get-togethers throughout the summer now that we won't have the in-office interactions every day.
Have you done wine and cheese parties before? Any tips? I love them. We have done them where we only have local wines and cheeses, or only the cheapest wines and cheeses, or just a random mix. So fun to do the pairing. Plus, who doesn't love cheese??