How to Host an Elegant Mother's Day Lunch

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. , Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — It is almost Mother’s Day. Make it memorable by hosting an elegant lunch for moms, daughters, and friends. Kathryn Greeley, interior designer, entertaining expert and author of the best-selling book, The Collected Cottage Gardening, Gatherings and Collecting at Chestnut Cottage, has tips on how to make your Mother’s Day lunch a festive occasion.

“I love spring and everything about it including hosting a Mother’s Day lunch,” Greeley shared. “I enjoyed celebrating this special day with my mother and continuing the celebration surrounded by family, friends, daughters and their mothers keeps her memory alive. It is fun to share photos and stories. Do you want to make your Mother’s Day lunch an extraordinarily elegant event? Here are things to consider.”

  1. Inside or out? May is a delightful time of the year for a lovely backyard luncheon or if the weather does not cooperate bring the spring indoors with fresh cut flowers and brightly colored table settings.

  2. Beautifully handwritten or printed invitations and place cards set the tone for an elegant event which is unexpected in today’s casual atmosphere. Send invitations to family, friends, mothers, and daughters. Make the day dazzling by asking guests to attend dressed in their springtime best. Do not forget to take pictures.

  3. What is (or was) your mom’s favorite color? Greeley recommends selecting a tablecloth and flowers to highlight that color. “My mom’s favorite color was pink, so I chose a pink and white checked tablecloth. It blended well with my spring garden’s sweet smell and breathtaking blooms of the New Dawn English Roses, Cosmos, Sweet William, Tulips and Peonies that I used as the table centerpiece arranged in a silver English trophy bowl.”

  4. Table inspiration. A stunning table is as important as the menu. Does your mom have a set of china and silver flatware from her wedding that she would be honored for you to use? If not, check out your local secondhand stores, antique shops, or estate sales to find china and glasses to fit your color scheme.

    Greeley uses a variety of patterns, textures, and colors to add interest to the table. Her mother loved Waterford crystal because her family was from Ireland, so Greeley used Waterford glasses. She selected Royal Worcester Charlotte china because of the pastel flowers that highlighted the table floral arrangement, and she purchased pink Italian Murano glass bowls with an under plate from an antique dealer to serve soup in.

  5. On the table monogrammed linen napkins make a sophisticated statement as do beautifully printed menus placed at each table setting. Another option would be to embroider your guests’ names on the napkins to use as place cards and a gift to take home. You can also include framed pictures of your mom to share with family and friends. It is a great conversation starter as you walk down memory lane.

  6. Selecting the menu. Catered or potluck is fine or does your mother have a favorite dish for which she is known? Greeley said, “Everyone loved my mom’s Hot Chicken Salad. It was her go-to casserole for all events. You can serve it in individual ramekins or a large casserole dish.” Margaret’s Hot Chicken Salad recipe is on page 73 in The Collected Cottage book.

    “I also added Tomato Aspic to the menu,” Greeley continued. “That was what my mother often served at her bridge club functions. In keeping with my pink theme, I included Brut Rosé champagne, chilled Rosé & Strawberry soup, Popovers with Strawberry Butter and who can resist Blueberry Goat Cheese Tarts for dessert.”

  7. After lunch, it is always enjoyable to reminisce with stories about our mothers. Telling them keeps the memories alive. As a parting gift, Greeley loves giving her friends something to remember the day by like a small silver picture frame to hold a favorite image of their mothers.

Greeley’s The Collected Cottage book makes a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. It has year-round entertaining and gardening ideas, inspirational photography, and more delicious recipes. The book is available on Amazon or for a personally signed copy visit

Contact: Cathy Lloyd, The Media Matters [email protected], 336-707-4462

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SOURCE Kathryn Greeley


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