An Alfresco Lunch for Four for $100… and that includes linens, dishes, stemware and food!

IF I CAN DO, YOU CAN TOO!  As the saying goes, “ITS ALL IN THE PRESENTATION”, but when the food is delish, its even better!  I recently hosted an alfresco lunch for our Lyonslifestyle team of four on our pool terrace. We had just moved into our home in Florida after a year of renting a furnished apartment that I outfitted with kitchen items from IKEA and HOME GOODS.  Utilizing what I had, I set about to make a pretty lunch statement with pretty food.  And here is how I did it…..

I served my favorite smoked salmon sandwich, which is quick, easy to assemble, visually appealing and absolutely delicious. This brunchy-lunchy meal looks special and signals that you’ve gone the extra step and made an effort to “make it nice”.  I purchased the croissants that morning from our local market which bakes them fresh daily. I set the plates up with blueberries, baby carrots and veggies and covered them with plastic wrap until ready. Shortly before the team arrived, I sliced the croissants and spread room-temperature goat cheese on both sides before stuffing with salmon topped with watercress and then covered with plastic wrap. I hard-boiled the eggs, peeled them and had them waiting, along with the hummus. After the team was seated and wine was poured, I scooped the hummus onto the plates and topped with a smidge of the red pepper. I sliced the eggs with an egg slicer and gently placed three slices on top of the watercress with a tap of black pepper. The finishing touch was a generous sprinkle of cinnamon on the carrots and on the plate for presentation!

I found these cheerful lemon printed placemats and napkins at Home Goods, which I paired with green tinted, plastic wine glasses I purchased years ago at an end-of-the-summer sale (more on that later). I love to design my tabletops with fruits, vegetables and natural greenery, so I bought an ivy plant at the supermarket and plopped a pineapple right into the center of it.  It added height, charm and symbolized “welcome”! I had just purchased a small green milk glass cake stand in the sale aisle at Home Goods and decided to use it to plate the croissants to add another element of height and a tiny bit of drama. Voila! DONE in a flash and all for barely $100!   


Tabletop Design Resources = $57.94

  • 4 White placemats with lemons$12.99 Home Goods

  • 4 White napkins with lemons$12.99 Home Goods

  • Plastic Stemware Pier1 Imports (my collection)

  • Small green Milk Glass Cake Stand $4.00 Home Goods (SALE shelf)

  • White Dishes $1.99 each at IKEA

  • Napkin Rings $5.00 each Williams Sonoma

  Centerpiece = $12.98

  • Ivy plant $8.99 (you have it for a long time after)

  • Pineapple $3.99 (you can slice for another meal)

Ingredients = $28.95

  • Smoked salmon $7.99

  • Watercress $1.99

  • Goat cheese $3.49

  • Sliced hard-boiled egg

  • Fresh Croissants $4.00 (6 in a box!)

  • Red Pepper hummus $3.50

  • Blueberries $2.50

  • Carrots $2.49

  • Grape tomatoes $2.99

Beverages (not included)

  • Pinot Grigio

  • Pellegrino sparkling water with lemon