AN INDOOR SUMMER PICNIC
I’m obsessed with creating the perfect indoor summer table this month. After spending a week as a guest of the Ferragamo family in rural Tuscany, I’m inspired by all things earthy and rustic; think simple ceramic plates with wooden lids in putty colours for storing couscous or summer bean stew, handmade china jugs in irregular organic silhouettes and wide, honest bowls perfect for a pile of crunchy salad leaves. Throw a hand-embroidered simple white linen tablecloth onto your table, opt for eccentric china plates by Kathleen Hills and pile simple cutlery in the centre. Marc Newson’s pure crystal glasses are the perfect accompaniment filled with pink fruit punch.
How to Entertain and Stay Sane
I love entertaining, but have long since given up on taking it too seriously. There’s nothing worse than working yourself up into a sweaty mess because you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. While I have been known to tackle a six-course Japanese dinner at a few hours notice, it’s not something I would recommend on a weekly basis. On that particular occasion, my guests enjoyed themselves immensely and filled their faces, while I, too stressed from the pressure of getting it all right, managed a mere chopstick’s worth of tofu. Now, we regularly throw impromptu evenings, where I whip up some wholemeal pizza bases, and invite my guests to design their own dinner with a selection of gourmet toppings – sweet cured chorizo from Jones, buffalo mozzarella, homemade organic sundried tomatoes, red chilli from my garden, crushed coriander seeds, and, once cooked, a scattering of peppery rocket and fresh spinach to finish. Quick, easy, fun, stupendously tasty and most importantly of all, low maintenance enough to ensure you’re interacting with your guests and keeping your head out of the oven.
The current edition of Harper’s Bazaar Interiors has the experts’ view on the latest, most cutting-edge contemporary kitchens to invest in this year.