WIN­TER EN­TER­TAIN­ING TIPS FIONA LEAHY

Known for mas­ter­mind­ing ex­trav­a­gant oc­ca­sions for the fash­ion, art and en­ter­tain­ment worlds, Leahy is an ex­pert on the lat­est table­top trends. Here, she shares her ad­vice

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Entertaining -

What’s the first thing to do when plan­ning a party? Al­ways set a theme and de­velop the aes­thetic by us­ing Pin­ter­est or mood­boards for inspiration. Also, it may sound bor­ing, but de­cide on a bud­get. How do you go about set­ting a ta­ble? I like hav­ing group­ings of vases and can­dles to cre­ate pock­ets of in­ter­est. Add place set­tings with names, too. They give a per­sonal touch and make guests feel spe­cial. What new styles have caught your eye? I love the idea of ‘matchi­mal­ism’, where the table­top is max­i­mal­ist and match­ing at the same time. I choose match­ing table­cloths, nap­kins and Christ­mas crack­ers. I also think hand-painted, tex­tured plates are hav­ing a mo­ment – I love the ‘Gera­nium’ charger plates at Mai­son Nu­men. What’s the best din­ner you have been to? My 40th birth­day party in Ayn­hoe Park, Ox­ford­shire. It was gold themed – the colour is a favourite of mine, as it’s im­me­di­ately warm and prom­ises a good time. All the guests wore gold and all the dec­o­ra­tions were gold, from the ob­jects on the ta­ble to the bal­loons, and the gold leaf on the food. How do you cre­ate a great party at­mos­phere? Mu­sic is im­por­tant. It’s also about invit­ing a di­verse and fun group of friends. A great party at­mos­phere needs good vi­bra­tions! fionaleahy.com

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