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.
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)