Elegant Entertaining: Christmas Cocktails on the Rose Terrace…

rippon lea estate pergola of roses

moscato and peach cocktail

As regular readers will know, once a month I join with a group of international bloggers to chat about a given topic.

And on this very last month of the year, the very gorgeous topic is Christmas Cocktails.

Which sounds like a rather fabulous notion; quite the perfect style of entertaining for this busy time of year.

As it is early summer, thoughts of cocktails conjure images of languid afternoons in a beautiful garden, perhaps on a terrace scented with old fashioned roses, perhaps with a jazz band strumming on the steps.

christmas cocktails in summer

Where could possibly be more perfect a setting than in the gardens of Rippon Lea, the National Trust listed late Victorian mansion here in Melbourne, because it has a 1930s swimming pool surrounded by rose terraces, itself cocooned by the most romantic garden laid out in Picturesque style ...

swmming pool 1930s

old pink climbing rose ripponlea estate gardens melbourne

rippon lea estate swimming pool

So if I were to plan a little Christmas Cocktail soirée here, I'm thinking things would fall into place rather happily...

summer christmas cocktail party ideas

Guests would arrive in linen suits and sequinned summer gowns, perhaps with shady hats for the summer sun.

They would need clothes suitable for romantic strolling, perhaps across the water lily bridge...

rippon lea estate gardens faux bamboo bridge over waterlillies

waterlilly at ripponlea

And then perhaps, to explore the shady Fernery, one of those delicious Victorian notions, quite made for stolen kisses...

ripponlea estate fernery

anna campbell gown

But the glamour of the party would lure them back to the pool terrace, where the jazz band is playing and cocktails are being served….

ripponlea estate melbourne swimming pool 1930s

We'll be needing some cooling cocktails, something fruity, like this Herbie Hancock made with watermelon, and something chilled, like the iced Yuletide, made with sherry and Benedictine.

summer christmas cocktail recipes

old roses at rippon lea

And what shall we nibble, in this garden setting? Decadent things, little morsels which celebrate the magic of summer and the magic of Christmas: grilled coconut prawns, little brioche filled with smoked salmon, raspberries, that quintessential summer Christmas fruit: plump lush cherries, and passionfruit ice-cream perhaps….

summer christmas cocktail food

pool with fountain 1930s style at rippon lea melbourne

gold acanthus ripponlea column detail

anna cambell white silk gown with sparkles

rippon lea gardens

ripponlea late victorian mansion melbourne turret detail

And as the last guests stroll down the shady avenue, looking back at the beautiful mansion of Rippon Lea once last time, they shall remember what a beautiful summer's afternoon they have had, in this very perfect setting for Christmas Cocktails, summer style.


To see how the rest of the By Invitation Only bloggers interpreted this delightful topic, jump across to the always elegant Splenderosa blog to find the links.

all images of rippon lea taken by blue fruit a few weeks ago // all men's clothing by p johnson tailors sydney // all women's clothing by anna campbell melbourne // cocktail recipes and all food/cocktail images from gourmet traveller