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Brunch In Style

With the holiday season comes lots of extra company-- families, friends, and neighbors stopping by----and many gatherings happen with little or no notice. One quick and easy way to entertain is a light, mid-day feast. Here's an Early look at what's InStyle for brunch with some helpful tips from InStyle's Executive Editor, Charla Lawhon.


The look and feel of this event is "light"--from the food to the tableware, flowers and linen--to the music. The red and green get a rest--the setting is white and silver: white tableware and flowers: amarylis, pointsettia or orchids.


People will be dropping in, but if you have time to invite ahead, there are casual ways to do it: -- you can phone, you can mail these simple invitations that set the mood ( Robin McGuire/$16 for 10) or you can do it the twenty-first century way--an e-vite from or from you can send in the middle of the night.

The Food

  • The menu is critical since you'll be eating round-the-clock. Pick some dishes that are both light and easy to put together.
  • The toppings for the hors d'oeuvres can be made ahead or bought (cannillini spread)...or you can buy or mail order: sundried tomato/olive or walnut-sage pesto.
  • The main course is mostly made in the oven: root vegetables roasted for 60-70 minutes; a wild-mushroom and leek fritata prepped ahead and also oven-ready in 30 minutes. Pears for dessert can be poached a day before.

Serving Style?

Serve brunch as a buffet with a logical setup: first plates, then food, followed by cutlery, rolled up in napkins...short stemmed glasses or tumblers for drinks are easier to deal with.

The Bubbly

Champagne is the drink of the season but you don't have to spend big money for expensive brands when you're mixing it in a ginger-honeydew punch.
There is also a great non-alcoholic substitutes: white grape juice and seltzer or use frozen grapes as ice cubes.

Parting Gifts

You always have something fun in store for your guests and the holiday theme continues with these little gifts. Try Christmas "crackers" which are gift-filled, Mystic Fans and Tea-reading kits....for predicting good fortunes for the new millennium.

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