Harper's Bazaar Interiors Editor Rue Kothari shares her top tips!
Dine with me
We are blessed with some of the finest restaurants in the region, so it comes as no surprise that much of our entertaining happens outside of the home. While I absolutely welcome this break from the hot stove (as if), in this situation being the guest is far better than being the host. For at least when you are the invitee you can whinge liberally about the substandard food and service without a trace of guilt. As the host, you have to work the table without leaving your seat and have little control over what comes out of the kitchen or how it’s served. Complicated? Well, let me disseminate a little for you. Here are my hosting tips for a flawless evening out:
1 Get the guest list right. Don’t just opt for a jumble of your favourite people. Edit based on personality type and common interest. It will mean your guests will have more to talk about than how they both know you.
2 Select the beverages in advance. Pop in for an advanced tasting and pick an aperitif and a white, and red vintage that will suit most tastes, and your budget. This will avoid lengthy discussions on the night.
3 If you’re opting for a private dining room, make sure that when the doors are closed, there’s still some atmosphere in the room. Music, candles and a way to call staff when you need them is a must.
4 A seating plan helps the party to ‘self-host’. Seat confident people next to quiet people, place close friends and couples apart, and newbies next to you – that way they will feel more included in the group.
5 When considering the food, forget a set menu and opt for lots of tasting platters and sharing dishes. This will allow your guests to taste lots of different things, it’ll satisfy most palates and also provide a topic of conversation.
Heavenly Home Scent
If you can’t spend time in the great outdoors, bring the fresh smells of a balmy summer into your home with the season’s most unique home fragrances. Jo Malone’s new lime, basil and mandarin (pictured) will turn your home into a herb garden. For more fragrances, visit the store in Mall of the Emirates.
The Indoor Picnic
We all need a little refreshment during August as we toil through the final throes of a boiling summer trying to invent ways of entertaining ourselves in the confines of indoors. I highly recommend spending a warm Friday afternoon at home having a picnic-style family lunch, complete with plenty of freshly baked bread and seasonal greens. The new trend of blue and white kitchen and dining accessories will evoke the colours of the Greek islands, and usher some light and informality into your living space.