Cover photo courtesy of www.weddingsparrow.com
Do you adore the look of a French Country dining table for your home but don’t know how to pull it off? Let us help. The French know a thing or two when it comes to fine food and hospitality. So the next time you’re looking to entertain and impress, why not take a page out of their livre and throw a rustic French dinner party to celebrate the French Country style you love? Don’t worry. There’s no need to break out the fine china and call a caterer—rustic French is all about creating a relaxed, homey ambiance. That means less stress for you and more time to enjoy the party alongside your friends and family. So dust off the boeuf bourguignon recipe hiding in that Julia Child’s cookbook you own and follow these French rustic decorating ideas to transport your guests to a charming soiree on the French countryside.
Sur La Table
The beauty of a rustic, French dinner party is that it allows for a more relaxed, casual approach to decorating you space. What you will need is a gorgeous French Country dining table to set the stage for la fête. Our Floren Extendable Oval Dining Table is a KKH favorite, and the piece speaks for itself with its salvaged wood construction, carved details, and extendable insert perfect for when you’re having guests over. When shopping for a French Country dining table, keep these core elements in mind: reclaimed wood (oak and pine are our go-tos), white wash finishes (or no finish), ornate carved legs and feet, and a trestle framework. Of course, you table doesn’t need to have ALL of these elements, but these are details that will give your dining room some French flair. Take a look at three of our favorites below:
Let the natural beauty of your rustic farmhouse dining table shine through by using simple, understated centerpieces, such as candles placed directly on the table or our bucolic Clifton Votive Candleholder. The south of France is the perfume capital of the world, so small hand-tied bouquets of wild flowers, lavender, sunflowers or roses spread loosely on the table can also make a picturesque centerpiece your friends on IG will gush over.
It’s a French rustic dinner, so make sure you serve the food family style on large platters such our Osceola Wood Round Tray or Dauville Silver Trim Platter. Bowls filled with seasonal fruit on the center of the table or on a rustic, wood sideboard also makes for a nice, authentic French touch. For your place settings, consider going with simple, white plates, wood-handled silverware, and classic, striped white linen napkins. Or mix and match antique plates, silverware, and glasses for a charming, eclectic tablescape.
La Chaise De Salle à Manger
With every great French Country dining table, you have to have gorgeous dining room chairs to match. If you’re going for French rustic, you want to go with one of three styles: a linen upholstered wooden chair with a cabriole or scalloped back, such as our Felicity Side Chair; a cane oval back chair, such as our Madeleine Dining Chair; or a farmhouse style X-back chair, like our Kasson Café DIning Chair.
A simple way to set the mood for your rustic French dinner party is by picking the perfect French-inspired playlist. We suggest sticking with the classics, like Edith Piaf and Brigitte Bardot or their male counterparts Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg. Bonus points if you can find a vintage record player and play albums on vinyl.
When it comes to French cuisine, the hors d’oeuvres (appetizers) are just as important as entrees. Consider spreading the hors d’oeuvres throughout your home so guests can munch as they mingle: Try warm olives and almonds with rosemary and garlic in a small decorative bowl on the bistro table in your foyer to greet your guests with a treat as they arrive. On your living room coffee table, place a charcuterie board with your favorite French meats and cheeses (ham, sausage, and paté offered with baguette, soft cheeses, and fig jam is an easy staple). Lastly try a tray of crudités on the console table in your hallway. Have fun with it! This is a great opportunity to display your favorite serving dishes and allow your guests to admire your home.
Start your rustic French dinner party off right with a cocktail that has frequently been named the “most ladylike” and “most refined.” If you haven’t guessed, it’s the Kir Royale. Typically served before dinner, the Kir Royale consists of 1/3 oz. crème de cassis (a sweet, black currant liqueur) topped of with 3 oz. champagne. It’s that easy! Serve in our simple Helen frosted champagne flutes.
For your dinner, always start with a French onion soup, which is always a crowd pleaser. For the main course, you can’t go wrong with a classic boeuf bourguignon served with bread, mashed potatoes, and field greens, but you can alternatively go with coq au vin or lapin a la cocotte (rabbit stew) if you’re feeling a bit adventurous. Always pair dinner with both a red and white win to appease everyone’s palette. And to end the night? Crème brûlée, of course! (Or strawberries and cream if you need something quick and simple).
Tell us about your rustic French dinner party in the comment section below!