Daily Archives: November 20, 2012

Tony’s Top Tips For Thanksgiving Entertaining

Entertaining, Holiday | | | Leave a comment

Last week, we were thrilled to host a Facebook chat with Pottery Barn’s entertaining expert, Tony. (Psst, he also designed this gorgeous cocktail shaker.) Tony provided such an incredible wealth of Thanksgiving entertaining tips that we had to pass them along to blog readers who might not have been able to join the chat. Keep reading for Tony’s Top Tips!

  • Make Room to Decorate on Your Table: “One way is to have all of your main dishes set up on a buffet with smaller dishes on the table for passing around. The buffet can make a big statement in addition to your table decor. Setting up an folding table with a great linen behind your main dining table will free up the elbow room for your guests. It will also give you another opportunity for great decorating. Here you can use height & drama. Try Tuscan Vases & our Briarwood Lanterns.”
  • Centerpiece Guidelines: “Keep your arrangements simple and use elements such as florals, gourds and candles. (Try florals in our Bosphorus Vases.) You also want to keep your florals low so as to not obstruct scintillating conversation!”
  • Modernize a Lace Tablecloth: “Adding simple modern touches like clear glass and using a neutral color palette can balance the fussiness of lace. Combining these two together can make a beautiful modern/traditional mix.”
  • Setting the Kids’ Table: “You could cover a kid’s table in brown kraft paper and give them crayons or colored pencils to amuse themselves before they’re eating. You could even ask them to draw their own placemats, forks, spoons and knives to help them ‘set’ the table.”
  • Rules for Using Chargers: “There is no rule when it comes to chargers. If you want the drama, use both chargers and placemats. Go for it! As far as color goes, don’t concern yourself so much with the color of the room, but the color elements on the table. That’s the focal point.”
  • Choose Cloth Napkins: “Go with cloth. Wash them in the machine several times to soften them and give them a better feel. Keep it casual and skip the ironing unless you absolutely must.”
  • You Can Celebrate if You’re Stuck at Work: “The most important thing is to keep the holiday spirit. If you’re going to be by yourself, keep the phone handy and talk to your relatives. Bring framed photos of people you hold dear to you with work to uplift your holiday spirit. If you’re with others at work, throw a mini-potluck and try a recipe share. That way, if you have more time to celebrate next year you can try the recipes next year at home.”
  • Always Bring aHostess Gift: “My family’s mantra is, ‘Always bring something to the table.’ This year at Pottery Barn we have so many great hostess gifts. Check out our assortment and pick up something special for your host or hostess. I know I would be delighted to receive any of the gifts that we have to offer this year. Browse and choose something that represents your style.”
  • Entertain Around the Thanksgiving Football Game: “Entertaining on the coffee table is a great opportunity for snacks and small plates. Make sure to have a couple of bowls of simple snacks to nosh on while waiting for the main event (and I’m not talking about the turkey). Additionally, setting up the entire Thanksgiving meal as a buffet gives family members the option to flow between the dining room and living room, and doesn’t make the game seem so intrusive
  • Try a Thanksgiving Wine Tasting: “Pick a few different wines and do a blind tasting in three different decanters. It’s fun and you and your guests will learn something new about wines this year. You’ll be surprised by how many low-priced wines are actually really great (look on the lower shelves at your grocery store for more reasonably priced bottles).”
  • No Need to Use a Tablecloth: “Especially if you love your table, there’s no reason to use a tablecloth. If you’re not going to use a tablecloth, be sure to avoid wood on wood when you’re serving, as it looks a bit bland. Use ceramic and metal serving pieces instead. Added bonus: clean up’s going to be a cinch if you don’t have to worry about laundering a big tablecloth!”