It's that time of year when we should be polishing the silver to make that dinner date in the diary feel extra special.  Well ok we don't all have grandma’s silver but it does all start with making things feel more special than your daily set up. Top tip, use your special bits and don't leave them sitting in the cupboard!

At Cotton and Pearl we love entertaining and so it has sort of become an art form. The compliments are always plentiful and the meals memorable and fun.

Being asked “How do you do it?” by your guests and not knowing quite what to say has prompted us to fill you in.

First, it’s about the love and the enthusiasm.  You really do have to love giving to pull it off well and of course the right company to create a great atmosphere is key. Hopefully you know who your friends mix well with.  It's often difficult inviting people who don't know each other at all (unless they are comfortable with getting to know new people), so a bit of careful thought is recommended. Once your guest list is in place you then plan the meal or buffet making adjustments to create the perfect menu.

If you’re based in Enfield, now’s the time to register with The Food Gatherer because you’re going to need help and who better than the fabulous founder Emma Lundi to bring you all the specialist food Enfield has to offer straight to your door.  If you’re not local to Enfield then try and shop with independent deli’s or pop to food markets near you as they are great for picking up some fabulous bits for your party like great cheese and olives.

Think about props, candles, flowers and cool place settings.  If it’s a special meal it’s so wonderful to make your guests feel comfortable by adding tiny personal touches.  Music is also very important so choose wisely, nothing too loud but just enough to set the vibe. 

Start by serving a bit of bubbly while you wait for everyone to arrive and have some great nibbles that your guests can pass around and share. 

A huge part is in the prep so do as much as you can the day before and another top tip is to set the table well in advance.   Who wants to be fiddling around looking for things an hour before your guests arrive? That last hour is reserved for you to get yourself ready, look and feel amazing and smile without added stress.

Now for those of you lucky enough to be invited, make your gift extra special; after all your hostess has been really thoughtful and deserves to be spoilt.  If you’re a group of friends why not combine the cost? This year for our London customers, we are working with Stef’s Brownies to present the perfect host or hostess gift.   It's easy; just choose from either the Vienna Dome or the Set of four tall dishes.  Stef will fill them with chocolate shards made fresh and they get delivered to you or your hostess (just email us for a quote and we will be happy to help).  For our customers based further than London we have a great selection of gifts that would also make a great choice and as always we are happy to help.

Now, let your hair down but always be Quirky Happy Cool

Happy Holidays

Maria, Andriana and Angela.

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