I don't know about you but I really feel the pressure to deliver something very very nice when it comes to entertaining around December. And the thing is, I do care about presentation and do want the house to look great when guests arrive. It's fine if you prefer something low key. But if you want to throw a really good party, read on!
ADD SOMETHING FESTIVE
IN THE HALLWAY
Although we have a wreath outside the house, I also add one more on the mirror in our hallway as my guests tend to linger around there for a bit. It sets the mood, and it is something I can use year after year. This one is is from Idyll Home and is made of dried winter berry and eucalyptus. I chose that as it goes really well with the only silver mirror in the house!
DECORATE THE ROOM
Decorations, no matter big or small will help everyone get in the right mood. You don't have to spend a lot on them however. Because it's Christmas your home will likely already be decorated with a tree, tinsel and more. If you want to fill some corners, keep in mind that guests will want to move around too.
The big winner of my decoration? This silver viscose rug from The Rug Seller. Because it is 100% viscose it is shiny and soft. But careful! Viscose rugs get chair and table feet marks easily, so you may want to keep this in your living room instead. The team at The Rug Seller quickly pointed out to me that viscose rugs are not ideal for dining rooms, but me being me, had to have it in there (promise to be extra careful with it!)
DECORATE THE TABLE
Here I am of course using stuff that I bought for the holidays. Add baubles on trays, in deep plates, even fill vases with them (without the water). Chop some ivy and any other garden greens you may have that suits this occasion and put in vases or set on the table. Get the candle holders out.
Above: Baubles, various prices, Achica and TK Maxx. Christmas crackers, small, Sainsbury's. Medium gold and glass mirrored tray, £12, Oliver Bonas. Champagne saucer glass, £85 for a set of 8, LSA International. Hexagonal copper lantern, Mia Fleur.
Plates (left) TK Maxx and (right) Anthropologie. Shaker and tall candle holder, Anthropologie; Gold cutlery and lantern, Mia Fleur. Napkins, stylist's own. Gold rimmed glasses and ash and leather handle board, LSA International.
Tip: speaking of candle holders, avoid small tea light holders and instead use tall ones. That makes them more formal! Keep the short ones for when you're in the zone for your Hygge (I have yet to get into THAT zone, how about you?). And get out your good cutlery too.
The gold cutlery used in this post are from MIA FLEUR, and at £95 for a 24 piece set they are the best priced I have come across so far. The plates are from TK Maxx. The white cotton table cloth and napkins are finds from trips to Greece.
I don't even have to work hard to make this party a success, seriously, the house is already decorated for Christmas, the vases are filled with greenery, there are baubles in every corner you look, fairy lights in more than two rooms and the fireplace is on like ALL THE TIME because the SIC husband managed to somehow break all the radiators downstairs. So we're still warm(ish), cosy and our glasses are ready to be filled!
KNOW YOUR RED FROM YOUR WHITE
This might be a good idea for a crash course on wines. I personally let the SIC husband worry about the wine while I worry about the food. But if all else fails, just head over to Pinterest and grab a couple cocktail recipes. And remember to serve them in style (no plastic cups). Check this post to find out what is the pink concoction that goes into the glasses.
Keep plastic cups for the kid's party and get the glassware out. Glasses, LSA International.
On my table, the latest addition from LSA International, the 'DECO' champagne saucer glasses. This set of 8 glasses is embellished with assorted metallic motifs and is inspired by the glamour of Art Deco. Ideal for serving champagne, cocktails or desserts parties (also makes a great gift for the entertainer).
LET THEM EAT CAKE
Is there something better than home cooked food? YES! And that's a home baked cake! Having grown in a home where my grandma would make the most amazing puddings like pasta flora (which has nothing to do with pasta and everything to do with jam!) making a cake was the first thing I learned.
Back then you did it the old fashion way; Now I get the occasional help from Betty Crocker (there I said it!), but still, I do my own fresh pastry cream and assemble some good looking cakes. And the thing is, they taste so good!
And if you want to present cake in the best way possible, here are some of my suggestions. Try the decadent gold cutlery that I suggested by Mia Fleur (£95 for 24 pieces) or the Viners 16-piece cutlery set, £99 and colourful plates and cake stands.
You're so ready to party!