How To Host An Elegant Mid-Autumn Outdoor Party

Homes

September 21, 2017 | BY Erica Fong

Mid-Autumn is the perfect time to invite friends and family over for an intimate gathering under the stars—think mooncakes, fall fruits and candle-lit lanterns. With the weather in Hong Kong finally cooling down, Wendy Siu, founder of home retailer Heather & March, shares her top tips for throwing a Mid-Autumn gathering in style.

1

An ideal setting

Location is key to hosting the perfect Mid-Autumn outdoor party. Choose a spot that is open-air, green, and full of character. One such spot in Hong Kong is boutique restaurant One-ThirtyOne in Sai Kung, where Wendy has chosen to demonstrate just exactly how to create the ideal Mid-Autumn table setting.

Dessert plate $660, Tea cup & saucer $1,000, Teapot $3,520, Creamer $1,370, Oblong Serving Tray $1,740 all from “Oiseau Bleu Fruit” Gien

Presentation Plate, Gien $1,120, Candlestick “Pastels” Gien $2,100

Point à La Ligne Candle $70, Champagne glass, Ercuis $2,280, Stemmed glass, Côté Table $230

Napkin “Double Jeu” Noël $750, Napkin ring, Sabre $180, Coated Tablecloth, “Jardin de Paradis” Le Jacquard Français $2,740

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How To Host An Elegant Mid-Autumn Outdoor Party
2

Elements of nature

Since you're in the outdoors, Wendy advises on using elements of nature to inspire the table decor.

"Pick up some flowers from your plants and throw them on the table, put some fruits in the basket, and use pots of herb plants as decorative pieces," she says. "Try using more ‘nature’ related type of accessories and furniture, like different kinds of wood, rattan, bamboo, leaves, branches or strong stems. Choose a tableware collection that expresses the nature connotation."

Lantern (back) $1,810 Lantern (front) $1,480, all from Côté Table

Cereal bowl, Filet Bleu $690, Dinner plate, Pont aux Choux $460, Napkin “Manege” Le Jacquard Français $280

3

Light and breezy colours

Wendy advises on staying away from using black to achieve a ‘light and breezy' effect instead of a serious and solemn one. When hosting an outdoor party, it's particularly important to utilise the greenery around you and complement that with colours. 

"The more natural the colours, the better it is," she says. "For all year round, different shades of green, earthy tone colours, off-white, white, are all very natural colours to use and you can throw some hues into it by mixing colors like blue, especially if you are close to the sea. Yellow, light purple and orange are all good colours."

 

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How To Host An Elegant Mid-Autumn Outdoor Party
4

Mid-Autumn tones

"Deep yellow, intense lime green, purple and dark orange are all great colours for Mid-Autumn as they project a very nice seasonal atmospheric touch," says Wendy.

Using the golden yolk of an egg as inspiration, she also is fond pairing that with "a light trendy chic red" since it is a Chinese festival, after all. "Lime green is also a suitable as it is star fruit season, and purple represents taro and sweet potato with its deep purple colour."

Creamer $1,370, Tea cup & saucer $1,000 Sugar bowl $1,630 Teapot $3,730, Square fruit dish $2,320 “Rouen” Tray $1,840 Cake Platter $1,740, All from “Toscana” Gien

5

Serving plates

It's also important to choose the right plates for your treats. "Our macaron dish is perfect for putting small mooncakes and chocolates and small treats, while the different shapes of our ceramic ware from Gien (like the canapé or dessert plates) are great for eating mooncakes, fruits, taros, sweet potatoes."  

To wash all those sweets down, serve Chinese tea in an avant-garde way with a matching ceramic tea pot, cups and saucers set. "Our small picks from Sabre are also ideal for eating small fruits or small mooncake pieces," she says.

Plate Stand 3 Tiers, Ercuis $39,240 Macaron stand, Ercuis $5,370

Dessert plate $660 “Rouen” Tray $1,840 Creamer $1,370, Cake Platter $1,740, Tea cup & saucer $1,000 Sugar bowl $1,630 Teapot $3,730, Square fruit dish $2,320, all from “Toscana” Gien

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How To Host An Elegant Mid-Autumn Outdoor Party
6

The right tablecloths

"Our wonderful anti-stain or water-resistant coated table cloth from Le Jacquard Français is a must," says Wendy. You never know what kind of weather you'll have, so a water-resistant table cloth keeps things versatile.

Coated Tablecloth, “Jardin de Paradis” Le Jacquard Français $2,740

7

Keeping it refined

In order to keep things refined, as opposed to looking too rustic, Siu advises on using high-quality products such as ceramics from Gien, cutlery from Sabre and Le Jacquard Français and candles from Point à La Ligne candles.

Dessert plate $660, Breakfast cup & saucer $1,160 Cake platter $1,630, all from “Oiseau Bleu Fruit” Gien

Iced teaspoon, Sabre $310

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How To Host An Elegant Mid-Autumn Outdoor Party
8

Indoor vs. outdoor settings

For outdoor parties, Wendy usually sets the table with her preferred ‘sympathique’ collection, which means charming French country style, by using more casual yet great quality tableware. The idea is to project a more relaxed and harmonious ambiance that integrates better with nature. She also tends to use more candles, rattan baskets, and special acrylic trays rather than too many silver items.

When it comes to glassware, she advises on using thicker types of glasses to compliment that relaxed feeling.

Small serving tray $1,050 Large serving tray $1,740, all from “Bouquet” Gien

Natura cocktail fork $260 Baguette cocktail fork $430

9

Contingency plans

Since you're dealing with the outdoors, always check the 7-day weather forecast, and have a contingency plan if it rains, according to Wendy.

"Set the table under a covered area or under a parasol if there is one, for peace of mind, and have insect repellent and ointment ready," she adds. Using pretty fans add a detailed touch, and always have candles or lanterns to create the ambience. 

Round tree of lights $2,170 Candle $80 each, all from Bougies la Française

 

All products mentioned are available at the Heather & March flagship store, 216-218, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central. For more aspirational decor ideas, follow Heather & March on Instagram and Facebook

All photos taken by Moses Ng/Hong Kong Tatler at one-thirtyone in Sai Kung.