FASHION – Hello! Fashion Monthly speaks exclusively to the experts on the ultimate home dining experience

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 11.44.39 AMThe nation’s hottest food and dining sensations including Willow Crossley, Susie Young, and Fiona Leahy, share with Hello! Fashion Monthly the need-to-know tips for throwing the ultimate dinner party.

With the home entertainment and dining scene rapidly regaining popularity, our favourite foodies share with us the top dinner party themes, the best types of food to serve, and the essential items for decorating a table.

Willow Crossley on top dinner party themes

‘A colour, flower fairies and any excuse for white lace as in Picnic At Hanging Rock or A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 11.45.12 AM

Ella Woodward on the best types of food to serve

‘I love food that everyone can share. I find it always creates the best atmosphere so I fill lots of beautiful bowls with different dishes that everyone can dig into.’

Susie Young on essential items to decorate a table

‘Opt for more than just the standard white crockery by bringing texture or colour to plateware. Likewise with stemware, add pops of colour to water or wine glasses, and look beyond the plain silver flatware with gold, wooden and engraved cultery options. Always consider the flowers and the vases, as a lot of creativity can be added through the choice of vessel.’

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Brett Tyne on seasonal changes to a dinner table

I use more candles in the winter and then more flowers and coloured water glasses in the summer.’

Laura Jackson and Alice Levine on an interesting centrepiece

’Small bunches of wild flowers in vintage jugs or glasses, or herbs in nice ceramic pots like rosemary, lemon verbena or lavender as they add colour and fragrance to the table.’

Fiona Leahy on easily forgettable dinner party details

’Music to dine by is a really important consideration. Guests shouldn’t be eating to fast music but when dinner is finishing, pick up the pace.’

Jemima Jones & Lucy Carr-Ellison on the most attractive menus

‘We plan while also thinking about colour. So if you’re doing a summer menu, have a red dish such as tomato and roasted red pepper. And including a green dish, like crunchy broccoli, beans and peas with an Asian dressing with flecks of red chillis, means the table is already full of colour.’

Ravinder Bhogal on her hosting secrets

‘I collect pretty vintage matchboxes and fill them with homemade spiced nuts. Guests can munch on them before dinner. And I decorate my jugs of water with herbs and cut fruit.’

The full article appears in the August issue of HELLO! Fashion Monthly – available now.

Photos: Mel Yates/HFM Magazine

Willow Crossley’s blog can be found at