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How to Throw the Perfect ‘Feel Good’ Summer Soirée

It’s all in the details. In Collaboration with Hero Bread.

Summer Cooking Essentials

Growing up, nothing meant summer more than hosting a meal with my friends and family on the back deck. I spent the hours leading up to their arrival anxiously helping my mom prepare wide spreads of appetizers and main dishes. In recent years, barbeques on the patio have been swapped for intimate dinner parties at my apartment and picnics in the park. Essentials have transitioned from juice boxes to red solo cups, and when we’re feeling *fancy*, the occasional spritz in a ‘real’ glass.

The summer has always been a time for gathering with loved ones, and leaning into the universal love language of breaking bread together—literally and metaphorically. It goes without saying that some products and pieces definitely make the prep easier (and more enjoyable), and are the first step to planning the perfect summer soirée. Shop my favorite go-tos below.

Non-alcoholic Apéritif

A spritz of any kind has become the drink of the summer for me (and many others). Ghia’s Aperitif offers all of the flavor and excitement of a fun summer bevvy, without the alcohol (or dreaded hangover). The best way to serve? Just add bubbles.


Gingham Woven Waist Apron Ivory/Cream

Nothing makes me feel more like a *proper* host than embracing my inner chef in a fancy apron. Performing my own rendition of ‘Cooking with Flo’, in a piece fit for Miss Pugh herself, the accessory adds the ultimate touch of flair to the chaos of prepping and cooking.

Hearth & Hand With Magnolia

Hero Classic White Bread - 2 Loaves

The perfect base for anything from crispy bruschetta to your favorite sandwich, quality bread is an undeniable staple for any event. Hero Bread’s versatile low net carb and high fiber options serve as the perfect addition to a meal and have ingredients that even your most health-conscious guests will love (and picky ones won't be able to tell the difference). My perfect pairing is an easy one: toasted slices of their classic fluffy white bread topped with warm goat cheese and a little bit of fresh farmer’s market jam for a flavor-packed appetizer. Or, if you’re planning to grill, their classic buns take the traditional burger or hotdog up a notch. If hosting Sunday brunch is more your speed, opt for the hero croissant pack—ideal as is, or baked with a bit of ham and melted gruyère for a quintessential ‘petit-déjeuner.’ These aren't always available, but you can join Hero Bread’s notification list and grab them the next time they drop!

Hero Bread

Vietri Campagna Large Oval Platter

As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first. At a summer dinner party, the food is almost as important as what you serve them on. Adding a bit of personality to your dishes elevates the experience far beyond your average barbeque. Plating any meal on a serving platter like this whimsical hand-painted number from Anthropologie instantly transports your guests to a sunset dinner party on the European seaside (even if you’re actually squished on your micro Brooklyn terrace or hanging in your suburban backyard.)


Riviera Striped Acrylic Drinkware, Set of Six

There’s enough to worry about at a dinner party, and shattering your favorite glassware should not be one of them. At a not-so-high cost, you can elevate the red solo cups of your past for a more tasteful set that feels *much* more in line with your elevated aesthetic.

$47.20 - $55.20

Summer gatherings are much more than what’s on the menu—it’s about the presentation and attention to detail that adds the elusive loving touch to any meal. By preparing your favorite things, with special people in mind, every night (and setting) can become the perfect gathering to show a little bit of love.

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