That’s Entertainment! Don t bore your guests with the same old red-and-green tablecloth, eggnog and fruitcake.
Here are some fresh ideas to make your holiday celebrations something to really remember. STORY AND PHOTOS BY BRADLEY TUCK
HOLIDAY CHEER CAN BE FAR FROM CHEERY WHEN you’re pressed for time, money or both. Entertaining can be anything but, when the pressure to be the perfect host is enough to make one chew the edge off a wine glass. So, here at Arroyo, we’ve sought out the best possible advice for you from a designer, a mixologist and a top chef, all bringing their talents to the table so that you can get on with your job of being a host of note! You’re welcome.
DÉCOR For some, the most enjoyable part of preparing for holiday entertaining is getting the look right. For others, it’s a terrifying endeavor, a minefield of style gaffes, with the potential for public excoriation via the sideways look of a style-savvy friend. To give you some friendly guidance, lest ye be judged, we asked interior design maven Tamara KayeHoney for some tips. House of Honey, her store and design studio on Mission Street in South Pasadena, is a veritable jewel box of vintage finds lovingly repolished, and newer, eclectic objets d’art. With a background as a fashion buyer, she brings a stylist’s wit and eye to furnishings and décor. What are the most common mistakes that people make in decorating for the holidays? Probably over-decorating and being too theme-based. I like the unexpected and unique feel of mixing old and new, as opposed to pulling out actual holiday décor. Instead of spending money on Christmas decorations, rediscover your grandmother’s best china and mix it with some fresh branches from trees in your yard. It’s so much more interesting and personal. The holidays are about expressing your true selves and, most importantly, about family. What are some good starting points, or design cues, that people can use when decorating for the holidays or for a party or dinner? I don’t think there are any rules. Get the kids involved and make it fun. Mix and match things, and don’t look to trends. Go for the unexpected. Decorate with your heart and mind, not your pocketbook. Try to make designing a table a fun creative activity. It’s all about being festive! Any time- and money-saving tips? Repurpose what you have at home and found objects.
What colors and materials are on trend? I’m a huge fan of metallics or anything with a sheen. Or all-white or all-black — monochromatic [pieces] can tie a table together beautifully. Clichés to avoid? Red and green, and store-bought decorations.
POTABLES If you’re going to the trouble of decorating the house, laying out a beautiful table and donning dapper attire, surely you’ll want to do a little more than deftly twist the screw-top from a bottle of Pinot. Guests will no doubt bring a bottle or two, and that’s all well and good, but you’ll score major entertainment maven points by greeting them with something glamorous and festive. How about a bowl of punch? Punch has a rich tradition, beautifully detailed by world-famous cocktail expert David Wondrich in his 2010 book, Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl (Penguin). His recipe for Royal Punch (next page) uses Fonseca Bin 27 Port, rum and Cognac in a potent and delicious mix that will definitely put a twinkle in your guests’ eyes. –continued on page 19 12.12 | ARROYO | 17