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December 10, 2023 - Gastronomy, Lifestyle, Recipes, Wine, Experience

The Art of Entertaining - The Festive Season – with Kate Spiers

For over 10 years, Kate Spiers has shared her wisdom with the world across various realms such as interior design, fashion, food, and much more. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for creating delightful and memorable experiences, Kate has become a trusted source for her followers.

With the silly season well underway, we asked Kate a few questions on what inspires her during this time of year, and takes us through the elements that make her Christmas celebrations truly special.

What is your favourite thing about hosting?

All of it! I love any reason to get dressed up, plan a menu, buy flowers and host my friends. It feels special being the person to bring everyone together, and I love seeing everyone relaxed and happy in my home. Plus, it puts my excessive tableware collection to good use!

What do you enjoy most about this time of year?

The festivities - there’s so much to be excited for, and everything is so romanticised because it’s Christmas! Even just after-work drinks or cosy weekends at home become so fun and festive. It really is a wonderful time of year!

When do you start thinking about planning your Christmas entertaining and what is your thought process? Where do you get your inspiration from?

I’m very much a lowkey host, so I don’t overthink my tablescapes or menu - I usually plan the food a week ahead and do the table settings on the day.

I love a sort of effortless look to my tables; lots of fresh flowers, a mix of tableware and glassware, and a random smattering of tapered dinner candles. It always comes together in a relaxed, undone sort of way that feels very authentic to me.

Who would you have at your dinner party, dead or alive, if you could choose anyone to join?

Oh, Meryl Streep would be a hoot! I reckon she would commandeer the conversation and have everyone in fits of laughter. I also recently read Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, so Gabrielle Zevin would be a fun addition.

What is one component you would never forget when planning a Christmas lunch or dinner?

For me, it has to be flowers. I tend to go overboard on the blooms and then I can never fit everything on the table, but they really do make a tablescape extra special. I usually buy armfuls of stems from the florist and arrange them in to various vases and jugs when I get home, it feels more fun that way.

What do you consider to be your favourite ingredients to work with when serving food at Christmas time?

Seasonal vegetables are a staple for me. I tend to plan my menus around whatever is in abundance - and I usually opt for big sharing platters of salads and roasted veges as an easy way to please everyone.

What is your favourite dish to serve with Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir and why?

I cook a lot of citrus dishes as I find they’re such crowd-pleasers - like the burrata, pistachio & grapefruit salad I made for my festive lunch. There’s something about a fresh, seasonal salad and a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, it’s a delicious combination whatever the season.

What is your back up plan if the oven breaks? Is there a dish you can whip up or pivot to create with minimal effort that you know guests will still love?

I think we’d just skip straight to pudding! I always pre-make my pavlova base so hopefully I’d have it waiting and ready for toppings - you just can’t go wrong with a crunchy, chewy pav with all the cream and fresh fruit.

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