Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Entertaining...Sunday Brunch In the City

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About two weeks ago Heather Clawson who publishes the immensely popular blog Habitually Chic mentioned in her blog that one of her New Year's resolutions was to have more brunches.  That got me thinking...

One of the things I enjoyed the most when I was living in the city was meeting up with friends on Sunday to have brunch at Luke's or anywhere else where I could get Eggs Benedict and a Bloody Mary.  To me, Sundays were all about the New York Times, the crossword puzzle, brunch afterwards and a good long nap.   Sometimes I would forgo my idyllic afternoon and invite friends for a casual Sunday dinner.

If you have lived in New York, you know weekends are all about casual clothes and casual dining.  Try visiting a neighborhood restaurant during the weekend and you will see the same people you saw all dressed up during the week in a most casual yet stylish attire.  People who live and work in town look forward to relaxing on the weekend and what they want is to dress down, walk the dog and rest up for the week ahead.  Going out for Sunday brunch is a popular diversion for New Yorkers but if you want to get in at your favorite restaurant or neighborhood cafe you better get there early.  You will find most places jammed packed!

So what could be simpler and more appreciated than offering friends an alternative to a restaurant brunch by entertaining them informally in the comfort of your home? It beats hosting a cocktail party or sit-down dinner, and it's a lovely and casual way to catch up with friends and family members.  Just make sure you set a civilized noon!

Now if you live in relatively small quarters, set up a buffet style table and let everyone serve themselves.  Do make sure you have enough seating though for all your guests. Even if you are lucky enough to have a separate dining room, you can use this type of arrangement to make things casual and more enjoyable. This is what makes New York city parties so much fun..

Everything in this brunch menu can at least be started the night before. The strata and the french toast just need to bake in the morning.  The fruit parfaits, Bloody Mary mix, salmon and accompaniments can also be prepared the day before, placed in the fridge wrapped with foil,  and brought out just before the guests arrive.  If you want to add muffins and scones, this is something you can buy ready made.  There is such a wonderful selection to choose from if you live in a major city such as New York. 

Now just because this is an informal party doesn't mean that you can't take out the silver,  crystal or the nice china.  That is what makes it extra special, even if you serve a simple menu.  It's done in English country houses all the time so why shouldn't you?

So Heather, here's to your New Year's can cross it off the list!


Smoked Salmon
mini bagels, cream cheese, capers, lemon, chopped red onions

Coffee, Tea

 Make sure you check out the country brunch in My Kitchen By The Lake!

Photos:  (top)  Elegant Entertaining,  Henrietta Spencer Churchill
and Google


  1. Lindaraxa: This is a fantastic idea! We have hosted several brunches in the last year, with guest lists ranging from a dozen to 30, and they have been wild successes. Everyone has a lovely time, and everything is easily cleaned up and put away by dinner-time. Perfect! Reggie

  2. That's one thing that I don't do enough of -- entertaining at Sunday Brunch -- I may have to rectify that in 2011!


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