My parents follow a wonderful routine each night. Everyone convenes in the living room before dinner to read mail, talk and watch the birds in the yard. My dad has a scotch and water. My mom has a glass of wine and usually sits on the sofa frenching green beans or shelling peas.
The centerpiece of this "cocktail hour" is most often a relish tray; a plate with some combination of carrots, celery, cucumber, radishes (with a small dish of salt), green onions, etc. It's such a great way to relax before dinner and a tradition that Rob and I like to follow when we can.
Last night, I made a relish tray with some goodies from the produce market. We sat in the living room drinking small glasses of raspberry lambic and it was so nice to be home!