Remember dinner parties? A refresher on how to entertain in style

FIBRE WITH FLAIR: Sian Redgrave incorporates fruit into her table decoration, as it looks vibrant and can be eaten later. Photos: Supplied
FIBRE WITH FLAIR: Sian Redgrave incorporates fruit into her table decoration, as it looks vibrant and can be eaten later. Photos: Supplied

Remember dinner parties? Depending on where you live in Australia, right now you're probably keeping them low-ley, or yearning for the day when you can once again entertain with flair.

Feel like you've lost your hosting mojo or simply looking for some fresh advice? Who better than a food and fashion stylist to share their wisdom. Former winner of The Great Australian Bake Off Sian Redgrave answered the following questions.

What are your top tips for entertaining at home?

Entertaining can feel daunting, especially when you have guests coming who you are eager to impress ... and the cooking is only half the battle. I find that choosing a theme, even if it is loose, is an excellent way to align both the styling and food into one smooth concoction.

Sometimes I like to revolve around a certain cuisine or ingredient that is in season, or even a colour. Think outside the box when dressing your dining table. Fruits and vegetables make for lovely decorations instead of flowers which you can then go on to make into a delicious meal at a later time.

What about preparation and being organised in the kitchen?

Preparation and presentation is everything. The more you can do ahead of your guests arriving the calmer you will be. The fridge is your highly underrated entertainment partner in crime.

Samsung's French Door refrigerator has an infuser water jug that automatically refills, two different types of ice (ice bites for chilling drinks faster), and a 'Beverage Centre' which is a separate compartment where guests can grab drinks without seeing what's inside your whole fridge. Genius.

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What are the essential ingredients?

Good food, hungry company, copious amounts of wine and mood enhancing music. I love to play Fela Kuti, St Germain, Buena Vista Social Club and an assortment of jazz.

What items help you elevate your dining experience at home?

Plating: Investing in serving dishes and plates that can be used for years to come are a must for me. I find that interesting ceramics and plates that have unique personality can hide a multitude of sins from cooking. It's true that we eat with our eyes, so if you are not the most confident of cooks you can be confident in your presentation abilities.

Tablecloth: A table cloth is a sure-fire way to elevate a casual dining experience into something a little more special. I like to have this ready and ironed the night before and have plenty of time to set the table.

This story How to take your dinner parties to the next level first appeared on The Canberra Times.