How to: host the ultimate night in this winter

How to: host the ultimate night in this winter

Brrr, it’s chilly outside! Instead of venturing into the cold, embrace at-home entertaining and host a cosy night in with friends. We were inspired by Three’s The Block NZ to transform our kitchen and dining room into a magical winter sanctuary. To help set the scene, we chatted with one of our stylists here at Città, Federica Contardi. Here are her tips on hosting the ultimate night in this winter.

Keep things cosy

When it comes to winter entertaining, Federica says, “the most important part is the feeling. You want to create a welcoming ambiance so people feel at home.” Create cosy vibes with scattered cushions and a seasonally scented candle like Spiced Apple or Salted Caramel. If the weather allows, make your outdoor space winter-ready with the addition of an outdoor heater and a selection of throws. A fire pit could be your new winter essential to create ambiance and warmth—be sure to supply a bowl of marshmallows for toasting!

Set the table in style

The dining room table is the heart of your evening and should be lovingly set. Start with a Linen Tablecloth and mix and match your ceramics and servingware. To key to achieving an elegant yet informal look is to stick to a similar tonal palette. Federica suggests creating a season centrepiece with the likes of foraged branches, pinecones, chestnuts and even mandarins, oranges and berries. She also says you could use twine to wrap a cinnamon stick around a Linen Napkin and place at each setting.

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Add those finishing touches

The little things make a big difference. Add flickering candles to your centrepiece but avoid interfering with the flavours of the food with unscented candles. On The Block NZ, Sophia & Mikaere adorned their dining table with a Cylinder Lantern Candle and Meloria Classic Ball Candle. Federica says you can place handwritten name tags at each setting. To make guests feel loved, she likes to add a little present on each seat—like some handmade chocolates to take home.

Welcome guests with mulled wine

As guests arrive, welcome them with a mulled wine or “vin brulé” as Federica translates it—giving a nod to her Italian heritage. As the comforting drink slowly heats, your home will be filled with the smell of warming spices and citrus peel. Instead of serving the drink in a wine glass, Federica says to opt for a mug instead—like a Cafe Mug or Finch Beaker. Decorate the drink with a slice of dried orange or lemon and a cinnamon stick. Guests will delight at wrapping their hands around the warming drink.

 Prepare a wintery feast

The kitchen is where the magic happens. Start the evening with a cheese platter served on the Margot Board (as seen in Sophia & Mikaere’s kitchen on The Block NZ). For dinner, showcase seasonal ingredients sourced from a local farmers’ market or your backyard. “I like to treat my guests with a slow-cooked meal in winter,” Federica says. She suggests serving a roast with veges for main followed by a delicious baked dessert. “People love anything with chocolate,” she jokingly advises.

The teams did an awesome job renovating their kitchen and dining rooms on Three’s The Block NZ. Tune in on Monday to Wednesday at 7.30pm and Sunday at 7pm or catch up on ThreeNow. 

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