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Tips on Hosting a Sophisticated Summer Soirée

I'm thrilled and honored to have been featured in the Summer 2018 edition of Westchester Home Magazine about summer entertaining. I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite entertaining tips.

Think in Layers

When setting a table for entertaining, I always think in layers. There’s a first impression when guests are seated - the "wow" - but then there are details that reveal themselves as guests settle in and the meal unfolds. The monogram on the napkin as it goes on the lap, noticing your name card, but also noticing your neighbor’s place setting and place card. I often put names on both sides of the card so you know who is sitting across from you. I love using lots of smaller vessels for flowers - like the vintage mint julep cups you see in the image below.

We have all inherited items from our parents and grandparents and I think we should use what we have. I love mixing and matching, especially the new with the old. I always say use what you have, use what you love, and incorporate it with what’s new. My motto is:

“Use the good stuff, this is not a dress rehearsal!”

Whether you're serving a formal meal or a casual one, I always use the good stuff. It sets the tone. It will make your soirée that much more memorable.

Parting Gift

I also love to have my guests leave with a little something at the end of the party. It doesn't have to be anything grand, it could be a beautiful place card, menu, or flowers. For this table, we used gold edged place cards and our watercolor artist painted beautiful fern fronds on each one. Then we had our calligrapher write the name on top of the watercolor designs. It's those little extra touches that make all the difference.

Images courtesy of Westchester Home Magazine. Photography by Ellen McDermott

Find the full article here


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