To celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday and long weekend, Stayz partnered with Grant Harrold, aka The Royal Butler (who has served the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Prince William & Kate), to share tips on how to be the perfect host and how to throw a dinner party, the royal way.
For the event, we styled a stunning house, located in Darling Point, with eight bedrooms, five bathrooms, an outdoor heated pool and spa, Cabana and beautiful front and back gardens.
Overall the mood and aesthetics of the night were alluring and decadent with soft ambient lighting – all themed to suit ‘royal, modern elegance’.
We used bursts of bold autumn blooms in deep berry tones to add a romantic, feminine feel to contrast against the wood furniture seen throughout the house.
The table was dressed with a light grey linen tablecloth with a felt underlay. In the middle were floral centrepieces (with red roses and frilled tulips) and clusters of taper candles in gold holders. Each guest receive a personal name tag with linen napkins in ash grey tones. The tablescape was dressed with metallic-edged ceramic plates, crystal stemware and ornate gold crockery.
TIPS FROM GRANT ON HOW TO SET A TABLE:
- Plates should be placed a finger size away from the edge of the table.
- To give the tablecloth a soft, drapey, luxurious appearance, a soft underlay is placed underneath.
- To touch up wrinkles with an iron, cover the table with a heat-proof pad (you can use your underlay) and iron the cloth on the table.
- Add a light-hearted touch to dining with a colourful mix of tablecloths and napkins, in complimentary hues and tones.
- With the glassware, you have the tallest stem at the back so it’s easier for your host to pour a you a drink! So it’s red wine at the back, white in the front and champagne flute just behind the red and water glass slightly behind the white to make a diamond formation.
- Cutlery is set as you have each course.
- Always remove plates to the left of your guests.
- Ladies napkins should be folded in half with the fold facing the table.
- If you’re leaving the table, you should not place the napkin on the table if you’re coming back. You neatly place it on the chair.
The ‘dessert’ room was dressed with a few modern embellishments including European scatter cushions and clusters of candles in the fireplace to evoke a burning fire.
TIPS FROM GRANT ON HOW TO SERVE HIGH TEA:
- If drinking tea or coffee, keep your saucer on the table unless you’re moving away. If you do move away, hold your cup and saucer up – saucer with your left hand and cup with your right.
- Pour the milk in after the tea
- Put the cream on the scone first before the jam
- You can use your knife to cut the sandwiches and the scones AND the cake.
- Serving tea leaves using a tea strainer is more traditional than tea bags.
- The lady of the house will be in charge of pouring the tea and inviting guests to help themselves to sandwiches and scones. She plays the ‘mother’.