I love to entertain, but hosting during the holidays can heighten stress levels. I’ve mastered the art of enjoyable entertaining over the years, and my gift to you this season is a list of insider tips.
10 / Setting the scene
When setting the perfect table, look at varying shades, introduce textures, such as fabrics, crystals, and items in varying shapes and heights – it’s about creating an elegant, stunning, but equally comfortable space for your guests.
9 / Point of view
Look at the room or table from your guests point of view. I sit at each place setting to see what each guest will experience.
8 / Timing is of the essence
When entertaining I always time everything perfectly, but in order to keep my focus on my guests I keep hidden lists everywhere. I love a vibrating timer as you don’t want endless beeps as your guests are enjoying the festive music.
7 / Avoid clutter!
As I decorate I tend to remove some of the everyday. A great personal touch is replacing photos in picture frames with ones from past Christmases.
6 / Scented Candles
Be careful with scented candles as some may be overpowering. Mix complimenting scents and go wild with scent free candles!
5 / Be prepared
Ensure that you can prepare most of the menu details ahead of time…you don’t want to spend your entire time in the kitchen. Hire gorgeous staff to assist – it’s money well spent and costs less than hiring caterers!
4 / Always plan for excess
You may have additional people turn up or a guest may have a last minute ‘plus one’ – it’s the holidays!
3 / Stagger Arrivals
I like to give guests different times so you can spread out the arrivals, this way you can properly greet everyone.
2 / Drinks
Unless you want to spend your evening behind the bar, stick to champagne, wines, and a signature cocktail. A festive punch is a great idea so guests can help themselves.
1 / End on a high note
Stick to your scheduled end time, and plan ahead for taxis. You want everyone to get home safe, and this way you’ll still have time to clear up!