Leallo is all about down-to-earth elegance—simple, elevated living, made easy and comfortable—which feels like the antithesis of the stress and panic that can set in in when hosting a summer party, especially in the Hamptons, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Forget fussy menus, complicated table settings, massive to-do lists, caterers, and uncomfortable shoes—it’s time to usher in the era of Leallo-style entertaining, where family and friends are everything, local produce shines, bare feet are happy feet, and everything looks effortlessly beautiful.
STEP ONE: EARLY SEASON PREP
Getting organized at the beginning of the summer season means we’re already halfway there when it comes to party prep all season long. We hang lots of string lights (pro-tip add a remote-control adapter) make sure our outdoor furniture is in good shape (we love the Amish-made all-weather Adirondack chairs from East End Outdoor Supply because we never need to move them) stock up on outdoor games (cornhole, bocce, croquet etc. plus sidewalk chalk and bubbles for the little kids) update our Spotify playlists, stock up on firewood for our fire pit, propane or charcoal for the grill, pool floats, serving platters and outdoor dishware. We love Thayers Hardware for furniture and decor and Stevenson's for the games and kid stuff. Boom! We’re halfway done!
Thayers outdoor furniture @kingsley_bate Repost @sawyerberson
Credit: @landscapedetails @joshuamchughphotography
STEP TWO: THE MORNING-OF
Rise and shine, grab an iced coffee, and throw on a comfortable, dark-colored outfit with comfy shoes—party prep can be a messy affair. We love the Riley Jumpsuit or the Pipi Dress in navy and black for running around town.
Then we grab our canvas Leallo totes (shown below) and our biggest cooler, and head out to the farm and specialty markets. First stop though, the bevvie store—we love Bottle Hampton for their selection of unique mixed drinks in mini cans and bottles. We pick up lots of ice there too, which we pop in the cooler and will give us a place to put our fresh fish and dairy as we’re shopping.
Sag Harbor Farmers Market Haul in Leallo Organic Tote
THE SHOPPING LIST
- Prepared guac, hummus, pesto, and chips (try the red pepper harissa hummus from Round Swamp Farm and the ramp pesto from L & W Market)
- Prepared curried chicken salad
- A light prepared salad dressing (like Round Swamp's champagne vinaigrette)
- Prepared salads (summer corn, quinoa, potato, pasta salad etc.)
- Fresh baguettes, plain scones (we love Carissa's Bakery)
- Charcuterie cheeses and meats w pickled veggies (try Mecox Dairy cheeses)
- French butter (or ramp butter) chevre and heavy cream
- Fresh local fish/shellfish (we love Lighthouse Seafood - previously Cor-J)
- Local tomatoes, berries, grilling veggies, red onion, endive, lemons, tons of herbs and a bunch of edible flowers (we love Amber Waves for all the local produce)
STEP THREE: THE AFTERNOON-OF
When we're back home we'll fill up the fire pit with wood, set up the games, pop on a playlist to check the outdoor speakers, and bring dishware, candles and a little table décor outside (but mostly we just let the food be the decor). Then for the food prep, drizzle a little of your vinaigrette over your cleaned fish and veggies. Slice up tomatoes, red onion and basil then mix with some more dressing. Slice up your berries and toss with a splash of balsamic and whip your cream in a cold metal bowl with a little sugar/bourbon vanilla (you’ll serve those later with your plain scones from the market) then stack everything, covered, in the fridge. Take a deep breath it's break time.
If you’re still feeling fresh, the Riley Jumpsuit or Pipi Dress you put on in the morning can literally take you straight through till party time. But if you’re feeling a bit sticky (like we usually do) or you just want to feel dressier now’s the time to freshen up and get changed. Try our new Bethany Dress or Sharon Dress after a quick shower and you’ll feel as fresh and pretty as a summer daisy.
STEP FOUR: JUST BEFORE GUESTS ARRIVE
Crank up the playlist and get those bevvies on ice, its party time! If we’re feeling fancy, we’ll prep some pitchers of specialty cocktails filled with fresh fruit and herbs (we love Shelly’s Margarita mixes at Round Swamp) but if not, we just get our coolers and galvanized buckets filled with drinks and ice and let guests self-serve. Then we put out the dips, prep charcuterie, drop spoonfuls of curry chicken salad into endive leaves and garnish with herbs, slice the bread, and let the butter come to temperature, then toss those edible flowers all over everything. We love when guests start arriving around this time, it gives a less formal vibe, people always jump in to help bring platters outside, and it’s a conversation starter to be a part of the prep. We never stress getting everything 100% done before guests arrive.
STEP FIVE: PARTY TIME
At this point, all the guests are here and all that’s really left is grilling fish and veggies when the time comes (we love using fish grilling baskets from Loaves and Fishes so delicate foods don’t stick to the grill.) Then we throw it all on a platter with pesto and crumbled chevre (serve both on the side if you have dairy-free guests) and more edible flowers. We always end up with a volunteer grillmaster and some helpers to bring prepared salads out to the table. Then dessert is all ready to go when you are—with the bakery bought scones, balsamic berries, and whipped cream you prepared earlier in the day (just give it a brisk stir to reincorporate any separating) plate them up and garnish with basil/flowers (or just dig right in.)
Finish the night with self-serve coffee/digestifs, and some sparklers for the kids and you’ve just thrown the most loved party of the summer. In a day. By yourself. You are the master of your domain, the hostess with the mostess, it’s a beautiful accomplishment, so many memories have been made, and everyone will admire all the hard work you put in. Brava!
THE LEALLO SUMMER MENU
Pickled veg charcuterie board
Curried chicken salad in endive with fresh herbs
Grilled local fish and veggies w chevre and pesto
Local tomato basil salad
Assorted prepared salads
Local bread w French butter
Balsamic berry shortcakes with whipped cream