Entertaining at Home: How to Host a Lavish Long Lunch with Pampelle
From festive cocktails and French-inspired eats, to stylish decor and the perfect playlist, this is your ultimate guide to hosting a beautiful long lunch at home.
As autumn is just around the corner, we're looking for any excuse to keep the summer vibes rolling. And nothing says summer quite like a long lunch, particularly one with a French Riviera feel.
With uber-cool music festival So Frenchy, So Chic popping up this month, you can recreate the joie de vivre at home with your nearest and dearest. Celebrate in true French fashion and organise a fête that comprises fancy food, beautiful drinks and even better company.
A brand that embodies this and provides a taste of France on our fair shores is Pampelle. The world’s first Ruby Red Grapefruit apéritif, Pampelle is the ultimate taste of summer in a glass, and sets the tone for the perfect French feast.
So you can long lunch like a Francophile, we’ve pulled together some stylish ideas – including everything from décor to dining – to host a long lunch your guests are guaranteed to rave about for brunches to come.
Pampelle Long Lunch: Eat
Pampelle is low sugar and low alcohol, so a spritz will refresh your palate without overwhelming it. To impress with your long lunch you'll need foods that compliment this light, delicate taste. Fancy doing it all yourself? Wow your guests with a homemade selection of delicious delicacies that pair perfectly with Pampelle.
Start the lunch off with a beautiful selection of starters. To complement the ruby red grapefruit in Pampelle, look to seafood. From mussels in a chilli and tomato sauce and sardines on toast, to smoked salmon bagels and flash-fried calamari garnished with parsley, your guests will feel like they've been transported to the Mediterranean.
For a long lunch that makes the most of the sunshine, keep it simple and fire up the BBQ for a chargrilled feast. Marinated chicken kebabs and roast lamb and rosemary are not only easy to prepare but impressive to lay out on a platter in the centre of the table.
Don't be shy when it comes to exploring flavour profiles, and look to season your meat and vegetable dishes using garlic, paprika, chillies, ginger, pepper, rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano.
When it comes to desserts, take inspiration from the French and make it all about cream and pastry. For avid bakers, you can't go past a homemade crème caramel or crème brûlée. The sweet and creamy flavour profile will pair perfectly with the grapefruit-infused drinks menu.
If you are time-poor, head to your favourite bakery and order a selection of croissants, éclairs, tarts and cakes for your lunch guests to graze on (with hopefully a few leftover for you to treat yourself with).
Every delicious French-inspired long lunch starts and ends with a cheese board. When it comes to pairing cheese, meats and accompaniments with Pampelle, look for bold flavours and saltiness.
When building your board, start with some soft and hard cheeses. For soft cheese, think French and pick up a camembert wheel and a beautiful triple cream brie. And to offset the creaminess, opt for manchego and parmesan for your hard cheese offering. For cured meats and accompaniments, think salty. Be sure to serve up some salami, chorizo, jamon, prosciutto, olives, picked vegetables and stuffed peppers.
Pampelle Long Lunch: Drink
When it comes to a long lunch, perfectly paired drinks are essential. Whether you're hosting wine lovers, spritz fans or cocktail aficionados, Pampelle can cater to all types of long lunchers.
The drink of the moment, the spritz is dominating cocktail menus for a reason. Light, bubbly and lower in alcohol, they are a fun and flavoursome way to enjoy a long lunch libation.
Pampelle's fruity flavour and low sugar content make it the perfect base for a spritz, and their signature recipe is a must-try!
- 2 parts Pampelle
- 3 parts Prosecco
- 1 part Soda Water
- Into a large wine glass add plenty of ice.
- Pour in the measured ingredients and give a slight stir.
- Garnish with a wedge of Ruby Red Grapefruit.
For a French-inspired long lunch, of course, there will be a guest or two looking to pair their meal with wine. To give it a refreshing update, you can combine rosé with Pampelle and a dash of soda water. Try and name a more quintessentially French pairing, we dare you!
- 1 part Pampelle
- 2 parts Rosé
- Top up with soda water
- Build over ice into a tall glass.
- Garnish with a slice of Ruby Red Grapefruit.
When it comes to classic cocktails, the negroni is one of the most well known. Combining gin, vermouth and an apéritif, this bold blend is best paired with salty dishes and flavour-packed cheeses. To lighten this traditionally heavier cocktail, use Pampelle as the apéritif.
- 1 part Pampelle
- 1 part Gin
- 1 part Vermouth Blanc (sweet)
- Take a tumbler or rocks glass and fill with ice.
- Pour in the measured ingredients and give a slight stir.
- Cut a swathe of Ruby Red Grapefruit peel and twist over the drink then garnish inside glass.
Pampelle Long Lunch: Decorate
Elevate your long lunch with a thoughtfully decorated space. You don’t have to blow the budget, but a few decorations never go amiss when you’re hosting. Indoors or out, let the table be your focal point, from beautiful table cloths and napkins, to centrepieces and place cards. We love using fresh fruit like oranges and grapefruits for centrepieces as an easy way to bring life and vibrancy to any table setting. A simple and effective way to add pizazz to the table is with the addition of fresh flowers — pick pretty pops of pastels such as poppies paired with greenery for a feminine touch.
Make sure your long lunch is Instagram-ready with some carefully-curated props for happy snaps. Giant paper corsages and lanterns make the perfect backdrop for photos.
If your lunch continues into the evening, add ambience with hanging lanterns, candles and tea lights, or even a few stylish table lamps to set the scene. Fairy lights look particularly magical if you’re hosting a garden gathering, and don’t forget a bucket of strategically-placed sparklers for post-sundown snaps.
Pampelle Long Lunch: Party
To set the mood for your long lunch, music is essential. Set up a sound system to play all your favourite tracks. If in doubt, make a Spotify playlist that you can play in the background – that way you won’t have to worry about changing the tracks.
In keeping with the French theme, start the lunch by playing So Frenchy, So Chic. Expect these cool, French tunes to provide the perfect soundtrack for your spritz and cheese-infused afternoon together.
For something to do that engages the whole group in deep thought and discussion, try out conversation card games. Designed to bring people together and sharing ideas and beliefs, expect the thought-provoking conversation starter cards to help you learn more about your friends and yourself.
For more fun and action, look to classic group games like Twister, Pictionary or charades. If you have some time up your sleeve, why not create a bespoke trivia game that has questions about your lunch guests?
Pampelle is the world’s first Ruby Red Grapefruit aperitif and is the ultimate taste of summer in a glass. With only 15% ABV and 30% less sugar than its competitors, you can indulge in an aperitif guilt-free. To find out more or purchase, click here.
Inspired by Pampelle's French spirit and looking for a fun event to attend? Right now, you can buy tickets to So Frenchy, So Chic. A sophisticated celebration of all things French, you'll have the best day celebrating music, gourmet food and fantastic vino. Buy tickets here.