Three experts share their tips on hosting the perfect festive get-together Joanna and James Fennell of Burtown House in Co Kildare. It’s the season of the festive get-together, but party season brings its own particular anxieties for those welcoming friends and family into their homes. For the party professionals, however, this time of year can be a chance to show off their unique interpretation of what a great Christmas or New Year’s hootenanny in 2019 should look like. Three experts share their tips on hosting the perfect party. For florist and owner of The Garden Mark Grehan, the festive season is all about reconnecting, relaxing and resisting the urge to overcomplicate. “The key to creating the perfect floral display at this time of year is to keep it simple. A good tip is to lay out your crockery, plates, napkins, and vessels on the table first so you can see what space you are working with before you even think about what flowers to add to a setting.” When it comes to small get-togethers like cocktail parties or pre-drinks before a meal, Grehan suggests awakening guests’ senses. “Consider something scented like hyacinths and mix them in with hellebore and some hypericum for texture. Make sure you plan ahead – take a picture of your vessels to bring to the florist to help you select, and make sure to collect flowers a day or two beforehand so that they have opened fully in your home and have had time to breathe in their new space.” This season’s most sought-after colours include purples, blue tones, and pinks, while texture-wise, asparagus fern is being used a lot with cypress and other foliage. “Look to dried flowers too,” Grehan adds, “they add maturity and seasonality to space.” While table settings will be the […]