WIN­TER EN­TER­TAIN­ING TIPS JACK­SON & LEVINE

Lon­don’s hottest sup­per­club duo, Laura Jack­son ( far left) and Alice Levine ( left) have in­spired a gen­er­a­tion of food­ies to open the doors to their own homes and start cook­ing for guests. We catch up with them to dis­cuss din­ner party dos and don’ts, as w

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Entertaining -

How do you ap­proach dec­o­rat­ing a din­ing room? It’s about cre­at­ing am­bi­ence, which sets the tone for the evening. A few flow­ers or some green­ery and a stylish nap­kin can trans­form the most mun­dane of ta­bles. Be in­ven­tive with sim­ple things – we love paint­ing empty mus­sel or oys­ter shells gold and us­ing them to hold salt and pep­per, or mak­ing name cards us­ing mini snow globes or leaves. What are your table­top must-haves? Coloured glass­ware – our go-to shops are Habi­tat and Zara Home. We’re not precious with wine glasses, we pre­fer non-stemmed glasses, such as beakers or bistro tum­blers. Also, table­cloths are im­por­tant, they can im­prove the most un­sightly of ta­bles. Do you have a pre-event checklist? You need to make sure the crock­ery and glass­ware is clean and or­gan­ised. It will also help if there is an or­der for the food to be prepped, cooked and served. Get the playlist ready, drinks chilled and cock­tails made (early ar­rivals should ex­pect to be re­cruited for these last-minute jobs). Give your­self five min­utes to get changed be­fore any­one ar­rives. Any ad­vice on what to serve? Our gen­eral rule is to choose a cold starter, hot main and a cold dessert. That way, you’re not in the kitchen all night, and you can en­joy the time with your guests – they have come to see you, af­ter all. How do you cre­ate a great party at­mos­phere? Can­dles are a must [see the es­sen­tial guide to fes­tive aro­mas on p74]. There is noth­ing more in­dul­gent than walk­ing into a room filled with scent (although avoid any­thing too heav­ily flo­ral). Are there any es­sen­tial tips for first-time hosts? Abun­dance is key – don’t run out of wine. Serve food on com­mu­nal plat­ters, as it helps to break the ice, and keep your menu sim­ple. If you’re new to host­ing, now isn’t the time to be He­ston! Which of your events have been the most mem­o­rable? Last year, we hosted three con­sec­u­tive sup­per­clubs, tweak­ing the look each night to a dif­fer­ent colour theme – dusky pink, dove grey and navy ( be­low and right). Each scheme gave the space a whole new lease of life. What do you en­joy most about host­ing? The ca­coph­ony of chat­ter and laugh­ter, glasses be­ing topped up and sto­ries told. jack­so­nan­dlevine.com

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