I love hosting dinner parties, having friends around, cooking food and playing great music. I also love cocktail parties and tend to do a big one once a year. Last year it was my housewarming party where I had over eighty people, the year before was a big Tirolian style birthday party with everyone dressed up in dirndl and lederhosen, a great laugh. Here's my guide to planning a stylish party.
My Guest List
I love to send formal invites and have so much fun creating them (I use Mount Street or Connor)....email invites for parties are a no-no for me. When you send a formal invite, you already set the tone for what is to come.
For my dinner parties, I usually cook myself but depending on my schedule my favourite caterer for fabulous parties is At Home. I was introduced to them almost twenty years ago when I moved to London and they have remained consistent in their absolutely delicious food, with the same team of waiters and maitre d'. They leave your home cleaner than when they arrived. I also use a 'homey' catering (Rhonda Scott at Escence) who serve uncomplicated healthy meals. I like a few canapés with drinks before dinner and always pick the same dessert: being a kiwi Rhonda does the best pavlova, my absolute favourite!
I stick to serving my favourite wines: Cloudy Bay for white wine and either a Brunello, Chateau Haut-Bages (Pauillac) or a chilled Red Sancerre...for pre-dinner drinks I tend to go for Bellini’s, pink champagne (Veuve Clicquot or Ruinart are my favourites) or mojitos.
My favourite china is Hermes, and the same for crystal glasses. I like to set a complete table using placemats, napkins and napkin rings. I now have a big collection and I buy my table accessories in the US as they are the best in table decor. My florist is Absolute Flowers in Maida Vale as it is simply the best flower boutique in the world. They also have the best selection of vases and unique pieces which no other store in London has. Their home store next door to the florist is so chic, and if you are in the area is well worth a visit.
My current playlist for dinner parties is: The Great Gatsby Soundtrack, Kendrick Lamar (Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City), Arctic Monkeys (AM), Ushuaia Ibiza, Cedric Gervais vs Lana del Rey Summertime Sadness and Axwell's Teenage crime.