Last course

Stephanie Con­ley – blog­ger, tastemaker and au­thor of At Home With The Host­ess – reveals her non-ne­go­tiables when it comes to pol­ish­ing off a meal with style.

delicious - - CONTENTS - @the­host­ess

Tastemaker Stephanie Con­ley’s af­ter-din­ner rit­u­als.

TOP TIPPLES Mar­ti­nis, as they are my hus­band’s favourite and he is happy to man that sta­tion. I love an Ap­erol spritz pre-lunch, as it’s light, but in the evening my go-to pre-din­ner drink is Cham­pagne.

SWEET OR SAVOURY Af­ter a meal I might serve a cheese plate, Val­rhona dark choco­late, or even fruit on a hot day. Add some fresh gelato to make it more ap­peal­ing.

JUST DESSERTS I’m not a big sweet tooth, but I do love creme brulee. I have a ti­ramisu recipe from a cook­ing course in Florence at Villa San Michele. You can pre­pare it the day be­fore and just pull it from the fridge.

TO A TEA Mint tea is al­ways a good idea. Add three to four mint tea bags to a teapot, a bunch of mint, a cou­ple of tea­spoons of su­gar and a squeeze of le­mon. It’s sub­lime.

TA­BLE DRESS­ING I col­lect a lot of dif­fer­ent table­top items and set the ta­ble to best com­ple­ment the event and what I am serv­ing. I do love any­thing blue and white.

VIVID VES­SELS I like an eclec­tic mix of glass­ware, es­pe­cially vin­tage crys­tal. In din­ner­ware, I’m drawn to Her­mès, Villeroy & Boch and Wedg­wood. Clas­sic and not too busy.

FLORAL ARTS Fresh blooms make a ta­ble. It de­pends on what is in sea­son, but I love hy­drangeas and pe­onies. I think most girls do.

SONIC STYLE Old-school Si­na­tra, Dean Martin, Astrud Gil­berto. I also love a dance and a sing-along.

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, from $130, from David Jones (david­jones.com); Flocca li­nen table­cloth in fog and Basix li­nen ta­ble run­ner in roy, from Hale Mer­can­tile Co. (hale­mer­can­tileco­l­i­nen.com)

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