Get the girls together and host an Instagram-worthy Girls Night! Ditch the rules of etiquette past and make it an all-hands on deck affair for the best photo ops and least damage to your budget.
Special thanks to my friends at Dairy Farmers of Canada, Two Oceans Wine Canada and St-Leon Gardens for helping pull together this post and providing product in preparation for my Girls Night In segment with CTV Morning Live Winnipeg.
It’s summer! You know what that means, right? Time to go to allllll the backyard bashes, girl’s nights and weekend cottage getaways. All this partying can wreck havoc on the budget and be stressful to plan. Fear not! I have you covered with a few tips and suggestions to ensure you have the most fun summer nights possible (and cute photos for your Instagram feed)!
The number one thing that prevents my friends and I from going-out and having a good time is our budget. That is not something to be embarrassed about! Whether you are saving money for tuition, rent, wedding, baby, house or vacation it is completely acceptable to say ‘no’ to a night on the town. Instead, why don’t you offer to host an evening in?
I know what you are thinking. “Hosting costs a lot of money.” Booze, food and decor can add up. That is why my friends and I like to ditch the old-school etiquette rules and ‘go Dutch’. We call these get togethers Wine and Cheese Nights. Each person in attendance to the party comes armed with a favourite wine and cheese to share with the entire group. With everyone bringing a bottle and a brick or wedge of cheese, there is a lot of yummy treats to go around! Even better yet, with all your guests arriving with cheese in-hand means you will assemble the cheese plate (or multiple plates) together as a group. Things are bound to get a little fun with all the wine flowing and every girl in attendance has a chance to get that Instagram-perfect cheese plate shot to share on their social media. We all know that’s half the fun of food centered events!
The best thing about about this arrangement is you know all your guests will have a drink and snacks suited to their tastes! It is so much fun trying new cheeses and wines. The last Wine and Cheese Night I attended I introduced a few friends to my favourite wine as of late: Two Oceans Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, a delicious red wine blend that is perfect for parties. The best part? The bottle (as seen below) was $11.00 at the MLCC. Seriously.
Now, let’s talk Cheese. As you guys know, I have been allllll about the Canadian Cheese lately and that doesn’t change when it comes to hosting a party! For these Wine and Cheese nights I make sure I bring along a brick of delicious Canadian-made cheese. There are many reasons why I choose to buy Canadian when it comes to cheese but the main two are:
- Canada makes excellent cheeses that rival anything made in Europe (and I want all my friends to know about it)
- I love buying local and supporting our hardworking Canadian farmers
Anyways, here are my top 3 party-ready cheese suggestions!
This beauty right here is Comox Brie from Natural Pastures Cheese Company in BC. This brie boasts gorgeous colouring, a gentle buttery taste and the most creamy texture. I chose to serve it unheated with rice crackers but this brie is a great base to get creative.
If the girls like stronger flavours, may I suggest a creamy blue? This unique blue cheese is called Devil’s Rock from Thornloe Cheese in Ontario. The cheese is encased in a craggy wax triangle, meant to draw-on the terrain of the Canadian Shield. This handmade cheese was a winner when I was on set with CTV Winnipeg and the Host even had to take some home to share with her husband. It’s that good.This absolute stunner of a cheese is picture perfect and a local fav! Red Wine Extra Old Cheddar from Bothwell Cheese in Manitoba is a new favourite of mine and I picked-up a few blocks for an upcoming fiesta. The white cheddar is mixed with flavours from a full-bodied red that creates the most pretty marbling effect that would look gorgeous on anyone’s Instagram feed!
To keep things picture perfect, I styled the evening with a mish-mash of old plates and linens that I had from my prop box. I didn’t buy anything for the night and have a mix of hand-me down plates from my grandma to some clearance find from Superstore and Ikea. Ask your girls to come armed with a few plates and napkins in a certain colour or tone to make sure the spread is on-trend. Have fun with it and don’t worry if things don’t look perfect.
To take the yummy cheese spread to the next level picture wise, I topped all my cheese with edible flowers. The cheese is garnished with Pansies, which are a cute throw-back to my wedding (pansy topped pasta!) and are just ultra girl-y and fun to use. Clip a few from your neighbour’s garden (ask nicely first) and your spread is instantly 100% more photogenic. Shout-out to St. Leon’s Gardens for giving me a crash course in edible flowers!
As host, you can do a few other small things to make the Girls Night a bit more memorable. I like to offer to make the wine go a bit further by making by-the-glass wine-based cocktails. For a recent Girls Night, I developed the perfect summer sip with Two Oceans Wine: White Wine Peach Cocktail. This delicious concoction only requires 6 ingredients and is super easy to create. No need to measure if using a standard size white wine stemless glass, as shown in these photos! Scroll down to get the directions!
So, are you inspired to host the next girl’s night? Will you be asking guests to bring a wine and cheese to the party and assemble the snacks together as a group? If so let me know in the comments what you are planning to do for your guests and share any other tips you may have to keep things fun and affordable! I can’t wait to see all the Instagram photos!
- Your guest's favourite white wine (I used Two Ocean's Sauvignon Blanc!)
- Peach Juice
- Favourite citrus-based liquor
- Soda Water
- Fun garnishes, like edible Begonia's and Mint
- In a standard sized white wine glass, fill half way with ice cubes
- Pour white wine in glass until half full
- Add one shot of a citrus-based liquor
- Add peach juice, until glass is 3/4 ways full
- Top-up glass with soda water and add garnish. Cheers!