Oh my goodness!! I attended the prettiest, most delicious, way too fun brunch last week at L’abattoir hosted by President’s Choice and Kelly Deck Designs. I don’t even know where to start in terms of describing how incredible the morning was. I’ll explain a bit about the event and I think that will help set the stage.
About 15-20 of us bloggers were invited to a brunch held at L’abattoir. When we walked up to the space set-aside exclusively for our event, there were 2 tables set BEAUTIFULLY in two very different styles.
Beautiful, right?!!! The table to the right when we first walked up the staircase was warm, deep and ‘sultry’ (as described by designer Kelly Deck herself). The table to the left was light and bright and usually more what appeals to me, though they were both exquisite!
We did some mingling and sipping of cocktails and then we got to hear from Andrea Buckett who put together the food portion of the event using all President’s Choice products as well as Kelly Deck, who did all the styling and design for the event.
Thanks to a lovely collaboration between Andrea and Kelly, here are some foolproof tips for hosting the perfect gathering over the holidays!
Top Tips for Hosting the Perfect Holiday Gathering
From Kelly Deck, Kelly Deck Designs
Determine the theme of your event and if it should be formal or more casual
Time of day has an important impact on party planning and the decision to make an event formal or casual.
Brunch is generally a more relaxed and casual affair. For décor, I keep things light, natural and whimsical. I like easy meals that can be plated in the kitchen and brought to the table – this prevents the table from feeling cluttered and gives you more freedom with the décor. One of my favourite recipes is the PC® Mixed Mushroom Comte Strata – delicious.
When planning for a formal dinner, I like the table to be dramatic and memorable. This means layers of rich texture and colour.
For Christmas dinner I love family style dining – delicious dishes brought to the table in formal serving ware adds to the plenitude and abundant feeling of the evening. A great option is the The PC® Vintage Serving Platters or Bowls.
Make your holiday hosting stress-free
- Always have a white table cloth on hand and pretty napkins that are clean and ready to throw on the table.
- Have a basket full of votive candles and tea lights so that you can easily illuminate a room with candle light.
- Choose one colour schedule for the season and stick to it – it’s stressful to try to create something fresh every time you serve a meal.
- Always have chilled wine and appetizers on hand for unexpected guests.
- Know the store hours of your local grocery store in case you need to run out for last minute menu items.
Focus on a few areas of the home when it comes to holiday décor
I always recommend decorating your tree, your front door and your dining table. This is enough to make your home feel festive. If you are looking to switch things up from last year, PC® products allow you to stock up on seasonal items to elevate your décor without spending your entire holiday budget – I always pick a few additional pieces to splurge on like the tree or table linens to tie the whole look together.
Choose an easy hosting occasion
I love brunch – everyone is fresh and energized and the food is easy to toss together and enjoy.
Maximize your entertaining/decor budget
I like to incorporate handmade ornaments and décor items with store bought pieces. It’s all about combining the high/low pieces as well, this will help to extend the budget.
Fun hostess gifts to have on hand
From my experience, home-made gifts have always been appreciated by my friends. If I’m attending a few parties for the season, I’ll create a big batch of homemade ornaments or baked goods. Unfortunately, I can’t always find the time to make my own hostess gifts, but a nice bottle of wine or beautifully packaged sweets like PC® Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Popcorn are a great option as well.
Prioritize food and décor when hosting
Easy and elegant is the rule in both cases. With décor, I choose one theme for the season and decorate key areas of my home – my table is always an expression of this theme and I don’t over complicate things by changing it up.
With food, I select simple, fresh and fast recipes. When it comes to appetizers, I always enjoy serving a charcuterie board. If you’re not sure what to include, start with a great base such as the PC® Marble Cheese Board, and layer up. If you really want to impress your guests, add a block of honeycomb, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and half a pomegranate for colour.
I learned so much from this event and have some great ideas in mind when it comes to hosting and decorating now. Next time you’re at Loblaw’s or Superstore, make sure to check out the PC Insiders Collection as those are the items that were used for all the decorating of this event and all the food that we ate as well!
What are your tips for holiday hosting? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!