Round for Dinner

Fee Greening

At home in Hackney, the illustrator lays out her hosting rituals

Shop Fee Greening


For our Round for Dinner series, we drop in on our talented designers and producers at home to talk through their dining and hosting rituals.

Up-and-coming illustrator Fee Greening uses an ancient pen-and-ink drawing technique to create designs defined by their fluid lines and iconographic subject matter. Taking inspiration from Renaissance and Gothic art, her works suck viewers into a witty world of saints, relics and curios. We visited the London-based artist at home in Hackney, to discover her best dinner party tricks.

I live in a small old shop in De Beauvoir, with my boyfriend Dan and our rescue dog Willy. When hosting friends I like to keep the lighting low and cosy. We are quite short on space, so dinners here are very informal - guests have to muck in and help chop things up at the table, and then we can lay it once things are in the oven.

My boyfriend is a record producer, so music is mandatory. We have lots of records, and it's always fun for people to take turns with the selection - whether that's playing new things they've discovered, or just playing back-to-back classics.

We have a signature cocktail called the Okey-Dokey which is whatever we have in the fridge - a low point was vodka and Ribena! Normally we would cook a massive vat of pasta, probably something by Nigella, and have a few bottles of red wine.

'You do you' is always a good approach for hosting. Everyone just wants to relax in their own way - there's nothing worse than an enforced game or dancing if some people aren't feeling it.

It would be pretty terrible if I didn't say my boyfriend is my favourite dinner companion - but definitely our dog Willy as well, so he can get the leftovers. He was a stray street dog, and now he is spoilt rotten and a little overweight…

I love the drama and symbology of food in Renaissance paintings - like pomegranates symbolising the power of Venus, desire and fertility; Eve's forbidden apple; or bread and red wine being the flesh and blood of Jesus.

I use my trinket pots for condiments on my table - and I also treasure the ceramics of my incredibly talented friend, Luke Edward Hall. I have some Murano shot glasses that I love as well, and I adore my coral and mussel salt and pepper shakers from Rigattieri in Venice. I would love to have an enormous Astier de Villatte centrepiece - their stuff is beautiful.

Our clean-up style is definitely to leave it until the next afternoon! Sometimes we hide the debris under lots of tea towels, so that we can just pretend it's not there and watch a film instead.

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