Looking for some ways to spice up your fall fêtes? Then feast your eyes on these ten great entertaining tips from Carla McDonald, the hostess with the mostest behind The Salonniere, the leading dedicated source of party tips from entertaining experts. As McDonald likes to say, "I feel a party coming on."
- Choose a stellar date. There's nothing more festive than an autumn moon, so hold your party on or around an evening when the moon is full and bright.
- Harvest your guest list. Select your guest list carefully. Have a look through your social media feeds to see who had interesting experiences over the summer that you think others might enjoy hearing about.
- Spice things up with a signature cocktail. Welcome your guests with a drink that puts them in the mood for the cool, crisp days of autumn. Try a Spiced Pear Collins, which is made with gin, pear puree and rosemary.
- Prepare a seasonal feast. Serve warm, earthy nibbles with fennel, figs and other fall flavors. Butternut squash soup topped with sage and served in shot glasses is a classic autumnal touch that looks beautiful passed on trays. Garnish your dishes with edible fall leaves.
- Fill the air with the sounds of autumn. Create a seasonal playlist. Songs to consider are "Autumn Leaves" by Nat King Cole, "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire and "Forever Autumn" by the Moody Blues.
- Bring food to your flowers. Reflect the bounty of fall with floral arrangements that include seasonal vegetables and herbs like chard, beets and purple artichokes.
- Sprinkle seasonal touches into your decor. Serve your nibbles on leaf-shaped platters and choose linens in autumnal shades like gold and pumpkin.
- Stoke the embers of friendship. Place votive candles in groups on tables to draw people together as though they're gathering around a hearth.
- Gather the leaves. As each guest leaves the party, send them home with a thermos filled with warm cider or a classic caramel or candied apple. Nostalgic touches make people smile.
- Chill. Remember to relax. If you don't have fun at your autumn fete, your guests won't either.
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