Late Summer Dinner on the Beach – Sunday Morning Coffee

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Last night was the most amazing late summer dinner on the beach. While some things didn’t go as planned, it was still wonderful.

Sunset Dinner on Ventura Beach

Thanks for joining me for Sunday morning coffee. Today I am sharing my weekly thoughts about entertaining, decor, crafts, and recipes, and Part Two of how I set up this magical late summer dinner on the beach.

Volume 30

A Little Bit About Me

Sunset Dinner on Ventura Beach

The most important thing to me in the world is my family. I love when we get to spend time together and I love to spoil my boys in any way I can. Matt and Michael were here for the week at our beach house and I came up with the idea to create an oceanfront, “sand at your feet hopefully not waves at your knees late summer dinner”.

More about that last part later. Hmmm.

Late Summer Dinner on the Beach

I have created dinners on the beach three times previously. You can find the write-ups on my blog Dinner on the Beach with Solar Lanterns and Fall Dinner on the Beach and A Magical Dinner on the Beach.

Each time I pounded tall poles into the sand which was not only hard to do but it just didn’t look great. I have been contemplating an idea that I saw at a vintage flea market so I teamed up with my handyman and this is what we came up with!

Sunset Dinner on the Beach

Can I just say that this was so much easier to set up … even on the beach!

I love these wooden boxes with the removable 4×4’s and the 2×4’s that support the top. It does not take long to set this up and I did it all by myself.

The hardest part was carrying all of these pieces from our garage out to the beach. It only took twenty-one trips from our garage to the beach to set this up! (Fortunately, our home is very close to the beach!) I told the boys to go play golf so I could set this up as a surprise.

I might have regretted sending them to the golf course at about trip #18 but, I really wanted it to be a surprise. It was so cute when they pulled up in the driveway because they all hopped out of the car and ran to the beach to see what I had done.

Sunset Dinner on the Beach for the Family

How to Make the Outdoor Dining Room

These are the pieces that we built to create the outdoor dining room. I am not sure if I am going to stain them or paint them. But at this point, I am going to leave them like this! I really like the natural wood look.

Before you ask about the plans for this, please be patient. I have a few things and options to consider first but eventually, I will share how I made these.

How I Built the Outdoor Dining Room

Other than hauling everything out to the beach, this was a very easy installation.

I picked out the location feeling confident that the owner of this umbrella and chair would be leaving before 5:00 pm! I set the table up first and added the wooden boxes and 4×4’s next. As soon as I had two boxes in place, I added the 2×4’s across the top.

Next, I used a screwdriver and secured all of the 2×4’s across the top. I just wanted to make sure they were secure while we were dining!

Once the frame was built and secure, I added the table cloth and lights and ran into the house to cook dinner.

Yep, dinner.

Solar Lighting on the Beach

Summer Beach Dinner by the Waves

You might remember a few months ago we redid all of the lighting in our backyard. We worked with an amazing company AQ Lighting which stands for Affordable Quality Lighting. They sell solar lights and I am so excited that I got to use these for the first time for my late summer dinner. They worked amazingly! Click here to see their solar cafe lights.

Serving Dinner on the Beach

I did a bit of cooking during the day and I steamed the artichokes which I served with a homemade Garlic Lemon Aoili. I tried to keep the menu simple so I made baked potatoes (so easy!) and baked chicken with a yummy green salad.

I added the flowers and lanterns just before dinner and when I went out to the beach I was shocked.

The fog had rolled in!

What the heck? The beach had been so gorgeous and I was so excited for the sunset. But in about fifteen minutes the fog came in and sadly I knew the only sunset colors we would see were my fresh flower centerpieces.

Dinner on the Beach

It was ok. The table and setting still looked awesome!

My One Big Mistake

The thing about blogging and doing crazy dinners like this, things don’t always go as planned. As sad as I was about the fog, that was nothing compared to what happened next.

Summer Beach Dinner on the Beach

When we sat down for our late summer dinner I couldn’t help but notice how fast the tide was coming in. I didn’t say anything but the waves were only about five feet from my outdoor dining room.

By the time we opened the champagne and started dinner, they were within four feet.

Soon the incoming tide became the dinner conversation. At about halfway through dinner, we all hopped up and moved the entire “outdoor dining room” about three feet away from the beach. Fortunately, there were four of us so we could kind of move it (aka drag it) without any problems. We sat back down and enjoyed more of our dinner.

But we were all watching the waves. And we ate a little bit faster. We all finished dinner, well kind of, and the waves were knocking on the door again. Actually, they were almost at our feet!

We all jumped up and cleared the table as fast as we could. The boys took the frame apart and moved everything off the beach just as the water was had completely covered where we just had dinner.

We didn’t get to enjoy a leisurely evening on the beach but it still was amazing.

And in hindsight, the clean-up went way faster than I had ever expected. (See, I can always find the bright side!)

Now I know, next time I need to check the tide schedules to make sure I don’t set up an entire dining area on the beach too close to the waves. Lesson learned!

Summer Beach Dinner at Sunset

My Favorite Items for Entertaining

I love to entertain and today I am sharing some of my all-time favorite items for entertaining. You can use these all year round.

Here are my favorite glasses from Anthropologie. I repurpose these all the time as vintage glassware!

Reflections on the Week

Last week was so much fun! I worked up at the beach house all week and I loved it! Even though we are getting into late summer, I want to go back for more!

I loved writing all of these blog posts. Which was your favorite?

Good things From Martha – 14 of Martha’s Favorite Summer Recipes

My friend (haha) Martha Stewart shared her fourteen favorite recipes for summer entertaining.

Be sure to find her recipes here.

What’s Ahead for The Week

I am holding off as long as I can before I start talking about fall. After spending a week at the bach, I am not ready for summer to end!

Next week I have lots of fun things planned on the blog. First, I am making a fun new summer pie. Next, I have three recipes to share, including some fun copycat recipes. I am making wonderful printed linens and sharing something fun from my craft room.

I am excited for next week at My 100 Year Old Home. I hope you are too!

Catch up on Sunday Morning Coffee

Pin the image below to your entertaining boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

Sunset Dinner on the Beach for Four

For more real-time updates, follow me on Instagram @My100YearOldHome

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  1. What a beautiful evening despite the fog and incoming tide! The complete setup is beautiful! Loved the floral arrangements! Tell us how you got all the components out to the beach. Wagon, cart of some kind? It’s a lot to hand carry piece by piece! Always enjoy seeing your parties and how-to projects!

  2. I looked beautiful Leslie. Thanks for the morning chuckle as I could picture the scramble to first move the set up and then hurriedly take it down. That pesky Ventura fog! Glad it didn’t “damper” your evening. The colors of the flowers were wonderful.

  3. Best laid plans right !?!?! Love that you can share a story that didn’t go quite as planned since that is the way things often go ! It still looked beautiful and I’m sure was lots of fun

  4. Having grown up in So CA and spent so much time on the beaches (never had a home there though), I know how unpredictable it can be – especially the fog. I’ve had more special planned occasions foiled by fog than I could count. Lol. So glad to know you can always find the humor in any situation!!

  5. Great story! How fortunate for you to have some tall, strong helpers to relocate the dinner party quickly!

  6. Oh my gosh! That is crazy after all your hard work but it sounds like it was still AMAZING! It will be a fun memory for your boys… “remember that time mom set up a beautiful dinner on the beach and waves came in and we had to move it the whole set up” hopefully you got some pics of them whipping it all down and running everything back into house 😂
    You always do such beautiful settings and your family will have such sweet memories of them! That’s what it’s all about.. bringing family together🥰

  7. Love your new and improved beach set up! I’d like to try that for my backyard. I wondered how well the solar string lights worked? I find most solar lights don’t give that much light. I also like to know at what time did you sit down for dinner?

  8. Keep the summertime blog posts coming. I love fall and all it’s colors but September is soon enough to welcome that season. Let’s enjoy this summer as long as we can after the year we have again been through. My favorite blog post of the week was what I learned about slip covers. I also liked the crab cakes recipe. Produce is abundant here now so I would love to see a feature on some of your local farm markets. Seems they all have some vibe to them other places don’t have so interesting to me to see how each of them try to make theirs unique to shop at.

  9. Leslie -You are so delightful, and your posts are amazing! I too like to entertain, and what you offer us is wonderfully helpful. Thank you for sharing your creativity and flair. Now if you would please just share your ENERGY! I live in West Texas, but have a small apt in a one hundred year old home in Dallas, so I know how charming those old homes can be. I am one of your devoted new followers.❤️ Thank you for a fun Sunday morning coffee time!

  10. What a fabulous night and the tide only adds to the story:) The table was beautiful and I’m sure the meal was as wonderful as the time spent with family.

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