With friends and family set to gather around a bounteous table, there's never been a better time to flex your hosting skills. That in mind, let us introduce our homeware buyer - Bryony Sheridan. Credited with curating Cook & Dine and the Interiors Emporium on 3, this seasoned tastemaker knows what it takes to please a crowd. Here she demonstrates how to make a gathering something spectacular.
How often do you have people over for dinner? Well I love entertaining, so I try to have people over as often as I can, especially at Christmas. Whether it's a big Sunday lunch with loads of friends, or a quiet mid-week kitchen supper, I try and make it new and fresh every time - there's always a dish I'm keen to try out!
What key things should always be on the table? Flowers. For me, a table isn't really complete without a nice bunch of flowers. Keeping it really seasonal is key. I would also say endless prosecco is a winner.Shop now
Can you talk us through the steps of table dressing? Where should we start?
Dressing a table for dinner is a great opportunity for you to express your personality and style. At the moment, it's all about maximalist layering, so start with your favourite tablecloth. I love the rich, patterned linens from Avenida, paired with contrasting napkins. Add mismatched, coloured plates, piled on top of each other with loads of interesting objet.
I don't think your cutlery necessarily has to match. I'm a big fan of the leopard knifes from Doing Goods. I also absolutely love the Mr-Lemon-Head vase from Giacomo Alessi, with his moustache peering through the overloaded bouquet, combined with the delicate vases from La Soufflerie, that showcase a single bud.
For my Christmas table, I go overboard with candles, vases and all the glassware! There is no such thing as too much…
Are there any definitive no-nos? No cracks or chips. I am ruthless about this.
What are the finishing touches? Well, I love a good table feature! A rich table filled with my beloved Astier de Villatte plates, piled high with fruit to nibble on. I also love to include little presents and favors on the table too.
Aside from table settings, what are the key elements for a successful dinner party? Obviously, the food is a pretty big deal. Planning the courses you're going to serve is important, making sure each course compliments each other in the right way. That said, I always start the meal with a cocktail; sloshing a bit of sloe gin into a Soho Home champagne glass, topping up with Processco and popping in a maraschino cherry always does the trick!
What's your go-to dish? I don't really have one signature dish but I do love changing up a classic. A citrus infused roast chicken with salsa verde and parmesan roasted potatoes is a firm favorite at the moment. And I've been perfecting my plum and apricot tarte tatin for some time, so that's now a winner… Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
What can people expect to find in-store on 3? A celebration of the best Interiors brands: heritage brands such as Omersa, Astier de Villatte and Fornasetti, alongside new and emerging brands like Matilda Goad and Christina Lundsteen - mixed in with Liberty London homeware.
I feel it's important to offer a mix of everything from a small gift, to sofa cushions and special one-off investment pieces that make your home unique.
We love the idea of curating your own edit, with new brands and art coming in all the time; it's a constant turnover of fresh talent. I'm all about championing up and coming artisans and designers who don't necessarily have the spotlight that the big brands have.
And interiors brands? If you're after an investment piece, I would recommend Luke Edward Hall or an original by one of the artists from Partnership Editions. You can't go wrong with a Fornasetti candle or a trinket box from Fee Greening for a little treat. Favourites of mine at the moment are a stack of Christina Lundsteen cushions, a Pooky lampsbase to change the mood of a room. And of course, a sitting room wouldn't be complete without an Omersa rhino, sticking his head out from between the sofa.
What advice would you give to someone looking to overhaul their décor? Don't rush to buy everything at once, your home should evoke memories and evolve over time. My surroundings really affect my mood and I love pottering around, moving things about. Also, your taste changes gradually so it's nice to be able to make slight changes with a new cushion or vase. At Liberty, we source the most exciting collection of homeware brands from Europe, Asia and America. We work with new and emerging talent so we can make your interior that amazing space that everyone talks about. Drop in and see us - I might even ask you over for dinner.Shop now