I love to entertain and serve dinner on the beach. The sunset provides an amazing backdrop for a fun dinner with girlfriends.
Dinner on the beach. It’s one of my favorite ways to entertain. It’s so special that it’s almost hard to explain.
What makes dinner at our beach so special? I think it has something to do with scrunching your toes in the sand, sitting oceanfront with a view of the sunset, listening to the sound of the waves, drinking great wine, and eating great food. And you get to do all of this with some really great friends.
Does it get any better than this?
It’s been unseasonably warm in Southern California and the weather in Ventura was absolutely perfect this weekend. I spent four days at our beach house with four of my girlfriends celebrating my best friend’s birthday.
I know what you are thinking, Was it safe? Actually, it was. I asked all of my girlfriends who were invited to the weekend to take a Covid test. Everyone thought it was a great idea and it was an excellent safeguard. And we all passed our tests. (All of my girlfriends also work out of their homes and have been very careful too.)
We spent a great weekend at the beach. We walked, we biked, and we ate out at a restaurant one night (where we sat outside and socially distanced). We cooked, played games, watched some sports and laughed a lot.
On Saturday night we celebrated the birthday girl with a dinner on the beach. This was the first time my girlfriends had dined on the beach like this and it was so much fun to spoil them.
The dinner was a bit last minute because the fog came in at about ten that morning and stayed for a few hours. I was afraid that we wouldn’t be able to dine on the beach but it burned off in the afternoon. That’s when I knew we could have dinner on the beach.
I even went with a fall theme. My decor, however, was pretty minimal. Here’s the thing. A few years ago I realized that 90% of the decor was the sunset and the colorful sky. There is no reason to compete with it. Embrace it and realize the entire evening will be focused on the sunset.
So I found a vintage tablecloth with the right colors and placed some fall leaves into two vases. I added my DIY fairy light mason jars which I made a few months ago. Instead of hanging them, I just placed them on the table.
In case you are wondering, there weren’t very many people on the beach on Saturday night. In fact, it was pretty much our beach the entire time. I think my neighbors are used to seeing me set up a dinner on the beach. The beaches aren’t that crowded and it’s the perfect setting to set up a dinner and have the entire beach to yourself.
I did not cook a fancy dinner because we ate a late lunch and decided we wanted a salad. So we enjoyed some great wine and an awesome Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad.
- Three large boneless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Canola Oil mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. chopped anchovies
- 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp chopped onion
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. crushed garlic
- 8 cups romaine lettuce, cut into medium-sized pieces
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- 1 avocado, sliced and cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- Place the chicken in a Ziploc bag with the olive oil, oregano, garlic, sea salt, and pepper. Marinade for at least one hour.
- Cook the chicken on the grill at medium heat. Sear on each side, then turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the chicken on indirect heat until done, about twenty minutes. (Indirect heat means place chicken to the side of the lit burner.)
- Mix all of the ingredients for the caesar dressing in a bowl, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Wash and cut, or tear, the lettuce. Slice the avocado and cucumber.
- Place the lettuce, avocado, cucumber, in a bowl, and toss with dressing. Top with pumpkin seeds.
The air was pretty humid so the wine glasses were “foggy” all night long!
I love hosting five people for dinner because I can arrange the seating so that everyone has an ocean from seat and view. I thought about setting the table closer to the water. I wasn’t sure if it would be a good thing if our toes ended up getting wet. I chose to go the safe route but someday I will give it a try.
The secret to making this dinner is that the location is so unique. Even if you can’t set up dinner on the beach, you can find a unique location in your own home. Try finding somewhere that would be a new location for dinner. Somewhere you have never eaten before.
As the sun set, the twinkle lights in the mason jars automatically came on to add some light. It was beautiful.
If you are looking for fall entertaining items, be sure to check out my favorites.