Valentine Brunch. Doesn’t that just sound like so much fun? Of, course, it does. But why and how to host a Valentine’s brunch for your girlfriends? Well, first the why. Let’s admit it. We love our girlfriends. We love to laugh with each other, tell stories, share the latest scoop about a new dress, a new store, movies, books, recipes, babies, grandbabies, new drapes, moving, our homes, our families. The list is endless of what we can talk to our girlfriends about. So in case you want to treat your girlfriends, I’ll show you how to host a Valentine brunch for them.
We have girl friends from high school, college, church, camp, sorority sisters. Women we met at the playground or in the carpool line when our kids were little that become lifelong friends. Women we met in PTA or Junior League or other charity organizations. Friends come from anywhere, at anytime, in all shapes, sizes, and colors. You can’t have too many girlfriends.
I’ve been thinking for a long time about hosting lunches for my girlfriends, ones new and old, from all diverse places. Get people together who may not know not each other and some who do. Let my friends meet new friends. Valentine’s is not just a time to express our affection for our significant other. I think it’s a perfect time to tell your girlfriends how much you appreciate their friendship, their laughter, their presence, their support. So that is what I did this past weekend. I hosted 7 girlfriends ~ some knew someone else and some didn’t know anyone else. So you’re my girlfriend, right? Here’s how to host a Valentine brunch for your girlfriends.
How to Host a Valentine Brunch
I think any successful party has pretty decorations and flowers, great food and drinks, and a relaxed host and hostess enjoying their own party. But the most important thing is great friends.
Decorations and Flowers
I made this door hanger to greet my guests. I wanted them to know this was a special occasion.
I don’t know a girl who doesn’t love flowers. My color scheme was pink (surprised anyone?) and gold so I had flowers on the living room coffee table, on the mantle, and in the dining room. I bought the white and pink roses at Sam’s and the cyclamen and pink tulips at my local grocery store.
The cyclamen are in the galvanized container that I bought in Atlanta last summer and brought home packed in my extra suitcase.
I hung hearts and flowers from the chandelier in the dining room.
For the dining room table, I placed pink roses in 3 rose bowls in the center of the table. “Love” sprinkles add a bit of color and festivity to the table.
As place mats I used cute Valentine scrapbook paper. I cut off the corners for a softer look. Pairing our Eternal by Lenox china and Buttercup silver with mason jars for tea or water is a fun contrast of formal with casual. The “napkins” are actually guest towels from Swoozies. I loved the pattern of gold and pink hearts. I used the same pattern for cocktail napkins.
On the commode in the dining room, I made a drink station for tea and water. The plates are for dessert. Another rose bowl of pink roses and extra pink~and~white striped straws add more color.
Drink of the Day
Always greet your girlfriends (or any guess) with a special drink: mine was Pink Lemonade Vodka with Pink Champagne. Make sure you serve it in a pretty glass. I used our basic World Market and Ikea Champagne glasses but made them festive by adding heart stickers.
TIP: We always keep champagne/prosecco and martini glasses in the freezer in our garage fridge. You do have to let the glasses lose their “coldness” before putting on the stickers. I did this a day ahead and just put them back in the freezer.
I wanted a menu that I could prepare mostly ahead of time with minimal put together the morning of the party.
Valentine’s Brunch Prep Schedule
- Grocery shop for flowers and food.
- Set dining room table.
- Make flower arrangements.
- Mise place all my recipes.
- Make the Strawberry Cookies and place in an airtight container.
- Make the Red Velvet Cupcakes and place in an airtight container.
- Make the frosting for the cupcakes, put in a piping bag and place in the fridge.
- Wash, cut and store all the fruit in the fridge.
- Assemble the crustless quiche, cover with foil and place in the fridge.
- Combine the pink lemonade and vodka in a small pitcher and place in the fridge.
- Make the strawberry butter and put in the fridge.
- Get out serving platters and serving pieces.
- Preheat the ovens, one for quiche, one for the bacon.
- Cut bread into heart shapes for French toast. **You could do this a day ahead and wrap in foil.
- Combine wet ingredients for French toast.
- Cut package of bacon in half crosswise, rub slices with brown sugar, and place on foil~lined sheet pan with rack. Set aside on counter.
- Arrange fruit on serving platter. **If you have room in the fridge, you could do this a day ahead and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
- Melt white chocolate in microwave and assemble marshmallow straws. Place in prepared display.
- Frost the cupcakes. **You could do this a day ahead.
- Fill pitchers with water and iced tea (purchased at McAlister’s ~ I love their tea and they make it better and cheaper than I can. You buy it in 1 gallon containers for less than $5.00).
The party started at 11:00 and I planned to serve brunch about 11:45. I took the quiche out of the refrigerator at 9:30, let it set for an hour and put it in the preheated oven at 10:30. I also took my frosting out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Piping the frosting on the cupcakes took just a few minutes. Then I arranged the desserts on the bar cart in the dining room.
By 10:15, I was dressed except for lipstick (always a last minute thing with me.) The last thing I did was cook the heart~shaped French toasts in a large non~stick skillet, placed them on a foil~lined sheet pan and set them aside. Everything was ready except baking the bacon in the oven (always my go~to method, especially for company), warming the French toast ~ and opening the champagne. We actually used Pink Prosecco.
As everyone arrived, I made introductions and offered a drink of the day. This group of girlfriends immediately got into the spirit of the party and I didn’t have to do anything but have a good time. At 11:30 I put the bacon in the top oven, took out the quiche, turned off the lower oven and placed the sheet pan with the French toast in the oven to warm.
Everyone made a plate, we sat down in the dining room, I said grace, we had a toast to celebrate friendship and we enjoyed a delicious meal, laughing and sharing stories (what is shared at brunch, stays at brunch.). A couple of girls helped clear the brunch plates as I made a dessert plate for everyone. I think the marshmallows were the favorite.
I wouldn’t change a thing about the party except this: I forgot to take a single picture. I had great plans for photos of toasting and clinking glasses and laughing and hugs. But I was having so much fun, I forgot. I promise to do better next time.
Everyone at the party wanted the quiche recipe, so if you do too, subscribe to The Bulletin. The Southern Sugar Bacon and the French Toast recipe are also in the newsletter in my list of recipes. The Red Velvet Cupcakes are here ~ I made 36 mini-cupcakes and one 9~inch cake. I wrapped the cake in plastic wrap and foil and put it in the freezer. I’ll use the leftover frosting to make a cake for Sweet Shark tomorrow. You can get 48 mini~cupcakes from this recipe.
I had so much fun planning, preparing for, and hosting this girlfriend party that I’m going to do it again soon. I hope that my suggestions for decorations and drinks and menu showed you how to host a special Valentine brunch for your girlfriends.
Remember it’s not too late to invite a few girlfriends over for a Valentine’s Brunch. Make it sweet and simple. Later in the week, I’ll share how to make my DIY decorations for the Valentine brunch.