Every night around 6 PM in Italy, we would all make our way down from our cool bedrooms, or in from the sun, to merge together for the evening for aperitivo. It almost felt like summer camp in that, after spending all day outside playing, we'd come together each evening. Everyone would be freshly showered, and take a seat overlooking the sprawling hills to this absolutely gorgeous display in the distance. In front of us, was an equally gorgeous cheese board.
The board changed a bit every evening, but maintained roughly the same rotation of elements, with some Fritto Misto, vegetables picked from the garden outside, olives, a variety of cheeses, and crackers with a great spread or bruschetta. Because it was vacation, we'd eat it between sips of Champagne or Aperol Spritzes. But the method of serving it—on an enormous vintage mirror—is what really sticks with me.
It sounds cheesy, but the mirror was not only beautiful, but reflected us and our surroundings; as we made our way through the tray, we were greeted with this other reflection of the sky, trees, and hills. Even when it was done, it didn't feel like a sad display—just showed more of the scenery. Once all the cheese was eaten, we'd put our wine glasses down on it.
While it may not be something I do immediately, I recently purchased a large vintage mirror for the sole purpose of recreating the magical display. Whether for Thanksgiving or a late summer party, it's absolutely something I look forward to using to make a dramatic and beautiful impact. I rounded up a few of my favorite mirrors online so you can recreate it yourself:
Camillia Mirror ($238): An oval version, with a pretty clamshell motif.
Olive Leaf Mirror ($58): A more affordable oval mirror with olive leaves, for smaller spreads.
Beaded Vintage Gold Wall Mirror ($158): A simple rectangle, similar to the one used at our villa (here's a more ornate version).
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