Party

Harper's Bazaar (India) - - BAZAAR PARTY -

You al­ways throw fab­u­lous din­ner par­ties. What’s your se­cret? I love spe­cial food, and I am a ma­niac for beau­ti­ful porce­lain and china and crys­tal. Even when I am alone, I al­ways eat at a beau­ti­ful ta­ble, with one set­ting, be­cause I want to please my­self. And when I have par­ties, I make all the de­ci­sions about what will work with the food, the wine, the flow­ers, the guests. I love to change the com­bi­na­tions of colours and tex­tures ac­cord­ing to my mood. It’s a great pas­sion of mine, so that’s why I got the idea to write The Em­peror’s Ta­ble, a book about recipes and ta­ble set­tings. What are your cri­te­ria for a good party guest? Fun, witty, well-man­nered, and good­look­ing. What is your pol­icy on as­sign­ing seats? If it’s a seated din­ner, of course you have to as­sign seats. If there are two ta­bles, I like to sep­a­rate the cou­ples. If it’s a buf­fet din­ner, there are no seat as­sign­ments. If you must can­cel a party, what is the most proper way to do so? A per­sonal let­ter ex­plain­ing what you can ex­plain and not men­tion­ing what you can’t. What’s the big­gest so­cial faux pas at a din­ner party? To ar­rive when the rest of the guests are al­ready seated. What is the best gift a guest has ever given you? More than 30 years ago, some­one gave me a minia­ture throne made of ver­meil, from Rus­sia, from the pe­riod of the last em­peror. You can use it to serve salt. And since then I have de­vel­oped a huge col­lec­tion of lit­tle thrones just like it. I have small, medium, and big—almost 70 thrones. It takes a lot of time to find them, but I love when peo­ple bring them to

Two amaz­ing party hosts draw our at­ten­tion to the lit­tle de­tails be­hind the

most mag­i­cal soirées me too. You’re on your yacht right now. What is the best food to serve at sea? Fish, of course. An­chovies on toasted bread is a great rem­edy for sea­sick­ness. Your col­lec­tion of table­ware is huge. How do you keep track of it all? I have dif­fer­ent sets of china for dif­fer­ent places—New York, London, Gs­taad, on my boat. Once, when I had dif­fi­culty sleep­ing, in­stead of count­ing sheep I counted my plates. I can’t re­mem­ber what num­ber I got to! What do you eat when you’re alone? I am very at­ten­tive to what I eat. I only eat or­ganic things. I don’t eat sugar, and I don’t drink milk. I use al­mond milk, and I eat pasta that is made with Ka­mut, a spe­cial kind of flour. And I barely eat meat any­more— mostly just fish, vegetables, pasta, and rice. That’s it. I al­ways start with a salad with lots of things in it: Av­o­cado, a lit­tle poached egg, ar­ti­chokes, radishes. Also, I never mix pasta and fish in the same meal. If you could have one last meal on earth, what would it be? A plate of spaghetti! Do you have a favourite meal? I am Ital­ian, so I am not so crazy for break­fast. I have break­fast in my bed­room—tea with le­mon juice and fruit. That’s it. What is most im­por­tant is lunchtime, and then din­ner is very light. The se­cret to stay­ing well is to not eat very much in the evening. But one thing I al­ways have, with lunch and din­ner, all my life, is sher­bet and a piece of cake. Noth­ing com­pli­cated or heavy, just a lit­tle ap­ple with streusel, and al­ways a fruit sher­bet. Ev­ery sin­gle day, twice.

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