A few weeks ago I was invited by Pottery Barn to give a small talk on Entertaining. This first Pottery Barn store in Manila opened only last July, much to the anticipation and excitement of its loyal following — myself included.
Since it opened, this place has been my go-to home store. In fact, I find myself visiting quite often since it is a beautiful space, filled with furniture, homeware and accessories — things you never knew you wanted until you see it thoughtfully displayed there!
Its current location which is Central Square in Bonifacio High Street Central is huge, occupying two floors. Do you know that this is actually the first Pottery Barn store to open in Southeast Asia?
Pottery Barn Kids is also here on the second floor. Again, that’s another first!
So going back to my event at Pottery Barn….
I was asked to share my tried and tested Tips on Entertaining. Being a homemaker, entertaining is something that I love doing with family and friends. And truth be told, I also enjoy giving talks every now and then, sharing a bit of myself and a few things that I know.
To let you know what happened that day, allow me to share with you the short version of my Tips on Entertaining :
- Keep it easy and simple. — Don’t try or attempt to do things on the day of your party that you have never done before. Best to stick to things that you are familiar with. This covers your food, flowers, décor, music etc
- Start early. — Clean and buy your fresh flowers the day before. Set the plates in the morning of the party, so you’re not stressed or overwhelmed on the day itself. Also as the host, be ready at least an hour before your first guest starts to arrive, so you look and feel more relaxed.
- Choose your guest list properly. –In this day and age, seating arrangements do matter. Invite old friends and add new ones. But never invite people who don’t like each other (yes, issues!) in one party!
- Fresh flowers are a must. — Basic and simple flower arrangements are ideal. Flowers need not be expensive or intimidating. Just a couple of fresh flowers bundled up together can already add life to the party!
- Plan your menu well. — Think about your guests’ likes and dislikes (not what you like). Ask them beforehand if they have any food allergies or restrictions. Do you have guests coming who are vegetarian or who are allergic to shellfish and nuts? These things are important to ensure your guests’ health, safety and comfort all throughout your party (and the day after!)
- Don’t skimp on desserts. — Please. When it comes to sweet things, the more, the happier 🙂 Everyone loves desserts! (Okay, almost everyone I know). Kids and grown ups alike enjoy this part the most. It sweetens the whole party because I believe, everyone loves a sweet ending!
- Give a giveaway. — Again, no skimping here! Don’t we all love receiving gifts? Whether big or small — a small chocolate bar or a cupcake packed in a cute box, a small bar of handmade soap or a personalized pen, everyone appreciates going home with something that is unexpected. Doing this will make your guests thank you even more and remember your party even after it is over.
- Last and most important of all, the host (yes, you) should enjoy the party too — for it is your party after all! Stop fretting about the food or décor when the party is already happening. Whether you like it or not, things will flow and happen naturally. So when the party has started, relax with friends and enjoy the moment — because this is your moment too! And yes, just worry about cleaning up the day after!
Special thanks to Marian, Jean and Gina of SSI Philippines for inviting yours truly. It was a pleasure sharing these tips with Pottery Barn’s guests. It was truly one enjoyable and entertaining evening!