A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

From The Shop–Jenah’s Notes: Summer Alfresco Dining

Jenah Barry, Retail Manager of The Shop at Wave Hill, brings to the position the sensibilities of artist and floral designer. 

One of my delights is carefree dining outdoors, barefoot on a summer night….Savoring ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs and sweet peaches, with my daughter chasing the magic of fireflies under the trees.

The Shop is bursting with wonderful goods to complement your next picnic or alfresco feast. Here are some of my favorite seasonal goods, found in-store:

To set the mood, I like to string up solar powered lanterns―Alsop’s ‘Soji’ solar string lights make every evening instantly festive! Created from durable nylon and powered by the sun, these lights turn themselves on when darkness falls, casting a magical glow of dancing light, night after night. string-lightsNatural, mosquito-repellant candles, infused with essential oils, add to the atmosphere and keep bugs away. Choose from Geranium, Eucalyptus mint and Marigold, all produced at the Hillhouse Naturals Farm, a 30-year old family business in western Kentucky.candles

A selection of recipe books provides inspiration for delicious summer dining, using local ingredients. Beautifully illustrated, A Perfect Day for a Picnic, offers easy recipes for dreamy outdoor feasts. It’s written by Tori Finch, who describes herself as a Sussex country girl who lives besides a river with her husband, chickens and a colony of bees.Perfect--Day-for-a-Picnic

Our pantry section is well stocked with delicious, seasonal ingredients. Christina Maser Pantry products are new in-store, and already their vinaigrettes are a customer favorite. It is difficult to choose between Peach Basil with citrus peppercorn and white wine vinegar, Strawberry Tarragon with red wine vinegar, and Gingered Pear with white wine vinegar―all delicious tossed with fresh summer greens! I love to add a touch of Christina Maser Pantry’s Red Raspberry shrub (a Good Food Award winner) to prosecco or sparkling water for a refreshing summer cocktail.vinaigrettes Fruit shrubs, a method of preserving the abundant freshness of perfectly ripened fruit, always transform drinks into something special. As a special detail, I freeze borage blossoms in ice cubes. Also known as starflower, borage is an annual flowering herb with charming little blue flowers that have a sweet, herbal, honey-like taste. For those who enjoy iced tea on a warm day, Leaf & Ardor Tea Co.’s cold brew teas are made in Connecticut using organic ingredients and its seasonal blends―Ruby Rosehips (rosehips, hibiscus, lemongrass), Solstice Sun (black tea, lemongrass, rose petals, orange peel) and Moroccan Mint (peppermint, green teas, spearmint) all embody the wonderful flavors of summer!Leaf-and-Ardor

I like to lay a casual, beautiful table that celebrates the abundance of summer, with bunches of fresh herbs and linen napkins. In-store we have Michel Design Works’ botanical melamine platters, with fresh avocado and lemon prints, with matching napkins and kitchen towels in cool hues of green, white and yellow.platters

I hope that you enjoy the languid pleasures of late summer, radiant sunsets, bright blooms, starlight and a cool breeze on a warm day!

I love how timeless summer can feel…


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