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Entertaining maven Nigella Lawson has been known to decry the abominations of a complicated or overly diverse menu; we can only surmise that the same philosophy applies to the composition of her tables.
But just as any good host or hostess doesn’t dispense with a brilliant menu altogether—they simplify it—neither is it appropriate to shun all pomp and circumstance when it comes to settings. With the recent succession of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, Easter Sunday can come off as a quasi-repeat of the preceding fêtes. Sure, festive splashes of pastels make a sweet appearance, but the rest of the springtime holiday often suffers under a cloud of tried and, well, tried again. This year, we’ve pulled back the curtain on three fresh entertaining concepts designed around quick-prep seasonal dishes. We’ve included time-saving table ideas, tips for choosing the right wine, and creative how-tos that are as easily said as they are done. And many design elements, along with some of the recipes, can be made ahead of time to avoid stress and let you savor your own soirée.