Style up the party!

Luxe.  Elegant.  Modern.  Contemporary.  Eclectic.  Casual.  Any of these strike your fancy???

With the holidays approaching for many of us, it’s a great time to consider your party style.  Knowing what you like, and what makes you comfortable, will help you to find a party style that’s just for you, and entertaining for your guests.  It also helps to think in advance about your food and how you would like to present it.  How do you want it to look?  Do you want food plated for guests or would you rather use large platters atop your table for your guests to fill their plates individually?  What are you going to feed your guests and how will you present it?

Keep in mind that sit-down dinners can be both formal and casual…but why not head into the dining room for some holiday glam?  Guests love to see decorated table tops, head over to a stocked bar, and love to snack and eat delicious foods.  Keep your style consistent…if you’re more the formal and sit-down type, then use all of your finery!  Chargers, linen napkins, napkin rings, placemats, placecard holders, lots of flowers – all of these things should make the list.  If casual entertaining is more your thing, use the centre of the table to beautifully array your food, and let your guests eat what, and when, they want.  This adds to the commonality of it all, and engages conversation for even your quietest guest!

For holiday dinners, I prefer a slightly more formal tabletop and food presentation.  I like to have food plated for my guests.  I love to present each course in unexpected and inventive ways.  What you eat can most certainly become a talking point so why not make the conversation fun, elegant, beautiful, formal, and unique?  Scroll down for some contemporary ways to present your food for your guests this holiday season…


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You can NEVER have too much china!  Here is my typical place setting…two chargers, dinner, accent, and bowl.

Heaven.  All different edging, all totally interesting.  Silver tipped crystal glasses and simply detailed silverware complete the package.




Use your best stuff for formal dinners.  Here, I’ve taken out my serveware on the left, and my great-grandmothers mother-of-pearl servers.  Beautiful.



Placecards are a fun way to add interest to the table top, and it’s a great way to bring in a theme…in a fun accent colour, cool shape, interesting texture…

WP_20131109_006 (3) Here I found pinecones with my accent colour for Christmas last year.  It was festive, and a beautiful way to incorporate a teal blue.  Head over to my tablescapes section to see more glamouros ideas!



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Reimagine old pieces to use as flower vases and candle holders.

Each of these pieces above have been used for single bloom loveliness and as coasters for lit tea lights.  Get inventive with the centre of the table!


Serving soup?  Why not have the soup out on the table when the guests are seated, poured into cool little shot glasses or little cocktail glasses?  Put a little sprig of fresh herb on top, or an edible flower for pizzaz.  It’s interesting and a cool talking point.

article-0-0F400B4100000578-324_470x579 Soup in little shot glasses with fresh herbs looks amazing AND makes the presentation special.



Serving salad?  Have the dressing on the plate in a fancy extra little dipper bowl, and let your guest pour his or her own to their taste.

easy-greens mini-glass-oval-bowlThese little dippers from Crate & Barrel are glam and luxe, and totally affordable!



Serve the salad deconstructed…torn pieces of smoked mozzarella, chunks of tomatoes, whole olives.  This looks spectacular on the plate, and keeps the ingredients tasting truer.

Greeksaladmain_2308949b This one is from Donna Hay.   Click on my sides section to see some of my favourite foods and how I like to prepare them.



What about your main?  For formal soirees, always plate the food and serve your guests rather than putting the food out on the table for self-serve.  But you gotta make it pretty…a little swirl of gravy on the bottom of the plate does the trick!  Or what about a small ‘nest’ of fresh herbs or watercress under the entree…looks amazing and adds to the smell!

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Use strips of prosciutto to cover your roast…below I’ve covered a small chicken for Sunday dinner and stuffed it with fresh herbs, lemons, and whole garlic cloves.  It salts the meat, and offers a ton of juice and flavour, plus it’s delicious to pick at while you carve!  Find some other delicous mains I’ve made here.



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