Oh, the sheer indulgence of a social situation where the rules are your rules, the food is your food, the scent is your scent. Some people find this level of detail overwhelming, but interior designer Joanna Plant is the prime example of a hostess who revels in each stitch of her rich dinner-party tapestry.
For Joanna, there’s something deeply satisfying in the calm before the storm, that moment when you look around and take in all that you have created – before the madness of everybody piling in. The house and garden full of carefully considered details and secluded nooks – from scented candles in cosy corners to encourage conversation, to a galvanised bathtub on the terrace full of bottles of Champagne, to a dining table groaning with temptation. Joanna’s style is the perfect antidote to prim party decoration. ‘The way you entertain should reflect who you are,’ she says, ‘I don’t want a home party to have the stiff formality of a wedding.’
And like all our favourite hosts, Joanna is an advocate for using candlelight to enhance the atmosphere. ‘Candlelight makes everyone look a million times more beautiful,’ she says. Red Roses Home Candles are her welcome scent – with Home Candles placed on the hall table. The fresh, citrusy combination of Lime Basil & Mandarin paired with floral Orange Blossom are her dining-room choices, while richer Incense & Embers and Velvet Rose & Oud is her nightfall go-to ‘for when you retreat indoors; it’s headier, more sumptuous and a bit sexy’.
‘For me, entertaining is about creating a feeling
of generosity and abundance, so you want lots of
flowers and delicious food, however simple’