For me, a seafood boil is the essence of casual (but special) summer entertaining.  As you know, I love really casual entertaining, so a seafood boil is the perfect marriage of luxury (I mean, we are talking lobster here...) and a roll-up-your-sleeves and dig-in sort of party.   
Almost every summer we host some sort of Seafood Boil for our friends.  This year, we threw one for my Mom's surprise birthday party.  If you've never hosted one before - let me tell you, it is the easiest party you will ever throw.  The fresh seafood is such a fun summer treat for everyone, that there is very little to do besides set a pretty table.

Seafood Boil
serves 6

1 lemon, cut in wedges
1 tablespoon of old bay seasoning
1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns
2 pounds of small potatoes
6 ears of corn
6 small lobster tails (optional)
2 pounds of shrimp
french bread
melted butter

In a large pot of boiling water, add lemon, old bay, peppercorns and potatoes.  Boil for 8 minutes.  Add corn and lobsters and cook for 3 more minutes.  Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.  Drain from water and pile on platter.  Serve with crusty bread and melted butter.

When I first saw this Robin's Egg Blue Enamelware Collection, I couldn't wait to use it for our annual seafood boil.  Here, I'm using the Large Round Platter ($16) to serve the seafood.  The tall sides make it very easy to pile everything in.

While a Boil is a very casual party, I still like placecards because it helps me to plan who is sitting where - I can orchestrate the conversation of the party by strategically placing dynamic guests that tend to entertain everyone.  These Anchor Place Cards can double as gift tags, too - they are my summer staple.

I placed a small salad plate (6 for $24) at each setting and used the Classic Black Linen Towels as napkins - they go great with the black rimmed enamelware. 

In the summer, I'm a beer girl.  I love, love, love Summer Shandy.  It is like beer and lemonade mixed together.  I put it in the Enamelware Deep Basin ($16) with ice and wedges of lemon.  I also offer white wine to keep everyone happy.

The Mini Pots ($20 for 6) are the perfect size for melted butter and cocktail sauce... and everything else. 

I made very casual candle hurricanes out of old extra large mason jars.  I filled the bottoms with large sea salt and then used my Thin Tapers (you know, Ina's favorites...).  I also used them in my glass votive holders.

And of course... Lobster Sugar Cookies are such a fun parting gift... or dessert.  They are actually very easy to decorate.  If you can trace the outside and color in the lines, you're set.

These are new additions to the store this week - along with some other fun nautical shapes.

Have I convinced you to throw a Seafood Boil yet?  You won't be sorry!

What are your favorite Summer party traditions?