Summer Dinner on the Beach and Sunday Morning Coffee

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

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 summer dinner on the beach.

Sunset Dinner on Ventura Beach

Season 3, Volume 29

collage of house photos

Dinner on the Beach

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.

Summer Dinner on the Beach

I have created dinners on the beach five times previously. You can find the write-ups from some of these dinners 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!

I made boxes to hold up a frame for an outdoor dining room!

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.

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. I put a metal sleeve bracket on top of the vertical 4×4’s so the 2x4s slip in easily.

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!

Later on in the evening, I actually wished I hadn’t done that. But more on this later.

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

Yep, dinner.

Take out might have been a good idea at this point.

Solar Lighting on the Beach

Summer Beach Dinner by the Waves

You might remember a few years 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.

On this blog, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you purchase via the link. The price will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

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 Aioli. I tried to keep the menu simple so I made baked potatoes (so easy!) and baked chicken with a yummy green salad.

Next, 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!

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 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 Latest Project

Dave and I are in Canada and ready to start a Backroads biking trip at Jasper National Park. We will be in Banff tonight and I cannot wait.

Ok, I am a little nervous about the biking part but I think this will be a lot of fun. It’s a really nice trip and we have been to Banff and Lake Louise before. But we have never taken a biking trip! This is such a beautiful place.

I promise to share a lot on my Instagram stories and I will share our trip on the blog when I get back. Just know I cannot take photos while riding the bike. Too dangerous for sure! Hehe.

Here are 8 Things To Keep Out Of Your Kitchen, According To Designers. I am curious if you agree with this list. One idea seems odd to me!

Who doesn’t need Favorite Weeknight Dinner Recipes? Thank you Southern Living for sharing these!

I this heat, these 50 Cold Appetizers Perfect For Any Occasion are perfect for a summer evening.

This might be the most important blog post you read all summer titled How To Keep Mosquitoes Away.

This was such a great week. I shared BBQ tips and the most amazing Smoked Brisket recipe. I also shared our Beach House bathrooms, why I love vintage quilts, and some amazing summer recipes. And the beach dinner party I created was sure a lot of fun.

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!

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

Be sure to find her recipes here.

Next week I have lots of fun things planned on the blog. I am sharing how to use lemons this summer, how we built our wine cellar at the beach house, and one of my favorite easy summer pillows. I also have a DIY mirror, a fun paper clay DIY, and some new peach recipes.

A Home to Share, by Leslie Saeta

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

A dinner on the beach with a wood frame, beautiful table and three centerpieces.

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.

  11. You might think of getting one of those cute beach wagons! It would cut your trips in half, I’m sure. But what a dinner to remember!

  12. Tides do count:-) But you managed well. I am trying to think how you managed to get the 2x4s in place by yourself so high up. That would be difficult on level ground and a bit of work for 2 people to accomplish. It had to involve a ladder. What length are the 4×4 posts? Maybe it isn’t as high as it seems in the pictures and the 2x4s not as long. You are wonder woman for sure.

  13. What a thoughtful Mom you are to prepare a surprise on the beach for your family! The tide coming in only makes it more fun and memorable. Thanks for sharing your sweet story with us. Really enjoy all your ideas.

  14. As always Leslie, a stunning look! I’m sure this will go down in the book of memories as one of the quickest yet best beach dinners.

    Welcome to Canada! Wishing you and Dave a wonderful time. Look forward to seeing some pictures of your biking trip.

    1. Haha you might be right! Still so fun and definitely one to remember. Can’t wait to share them! 🥰

  15. Thank you for all the work you do to share your style with us. I’m a fan. I’m amazed by all your decor and would love a follow up post to the one where you shared your outdoor spaces. I’m particularly interested in how you keep it in good condition/set up day to day. It would also be nice to include other bloggers from different areas on how they keep up their outdoor spaces. I’ve moved to NC in the last year and love it. But the bugs and critters make outdoor decor tough to keep up with. Your perspective would be enjoyable.

    1. Thank you so much for being here Kathie! Stay tuned for more posts on the outdoor space 🥰 that’s a great idea!

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