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Photographed by John Kernick

The hostess dishes creative entertaining tips from her new book Soirée: Entertaining With Style.

Hand delivering invitations is an over-the-top gesture that’s sure to get attention.

Food & Menu Planning…
Simplify your life! Using pre-made or purchased items for parts of your menu will give you more time to enjoy your own party rather than having to be in the kitchen all day.

Setting the Table…
You can mix and match silver, place settings, fabrics, colors and centerpieces as long as there is some coordinating theme.

Building a Bar…
Think outside the box for glassware: Mason jars for cocktails, Moroccan tea glasses for champagne, Venetian glass picked up on holiday for water glasses — and look for after-holiday sales to stock up on festively colored ones.

Flowers & Decoration…
For transparent containers, cover flower stems by adding marbles to the water (a modern look), or cranberries in winter or citrus fruit halves in the summer.

Put dimmers on light switches and lamps and skip the overhead brights altogether. Low lighting makes us all look good, especially candlelight.

During dinner, music should fade away and become a subtle part of the background, allowing the dinner conversation to be the predominant sound. And when dessert is served, a return to more lively music is a good way to get the blood flowing again!

Read more features from our Book Issues, past and present.

More to explore in Entertaining


  • Jacqueline Marie

    Thank you for the “Book of the Week” Soiree, love entertaining books and this one will be added to my collection.