Throw an Elegant (Easy!) Brunch


Photo credit: StockFood

You saw that headline and rolled your eyes, didn’t you? You’ve seen the promise of “elegant and easy!” fail to deliver one too many times, the last of which ended with both egg yolk and lipstick stains on your skirt.

Well, our promises, and our headlines, are true. Open up your hand, and let us take it; then, we will descend together into the wonderfully relaxed world of the chic, no-frills brunch. It only takes five steps.

Send paper invitations. While we’re down for the casual, “Hey, come on over” phone call, you’re going for elegance, here. Send a Real Invite. Like, via snail mail. Your friends will open their mailboxes, huffing and puffing their ways through bills, and suddenly, they’ll come upon a hand-written note. They’ll open it and smile immediately, whether they’re free to attend or not. The card doesn’t have to be made for an event invite, either; we like these blank ones from Rifle Paper Company, and vintage postcards picked up from antique stores. (That’s right, they don’t even have to have envelopes!)

Let the food take the backseat. It should be tasty, of course, but it need not be fancy. What people want on a late weekend morning are hearty, simple dishes like frittatas and vegetable casseroles and hunks of yeasty bread with really good jam. And booze. Sparkly booze.

Step up your décor. The food is easy, so take some time with the table. Select some playfully mismatched dishes; wash and press your napkins; spring for a fresh bouquet; write up some place cards. Why not? This is where you can have some fun. Fish’s Eddy is a great resource for cheap, cheeky wares.

Do serve dessert. This is another way to make your guests feel special without breaking your back. People rarely eat dessert during the daytime—pretty much only on vacation or at brunch—and it’s easy, because you can do all your prep ahead of time. We vote pie or trifle.

The chicest thing you can wear is calm. As etiquette maven Emily Post wrote, “The truly good host is gracious and unflappable, no matter what happens. The more you take things in stride and handle them gracefully, the better your guests will feel.” What’s more elegant than that?


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