stylish entertaining at home.

Thanks to Pinterest, the thought of entertaining at home always gets me both excited and stressed thanks to the pressure of amazing food styling and picture perfect plates.  With Valentine’s Day coming up (6 days people!), I chatted with owner and style director of Boutique Bites, Elaina, about some advice for entertaining at home, whether it’s a romantic evening or a cocktail party with the girls.

What is the most important thing to keep in mind when entertaining at home?

Keep it simple but impressive. The last thing you want to worry about is having extra work to do when you should be enjoying the party. At the same time, your guests always appreciate special touches that show the time spent on making everything come together. My number one piece of advice is: anything that you can do ahead of time…do! Set the table the day before; pre-cook as much as you can ahead of time with just reheat left when your guests arrive; pre-mix specialty cocktails so they are ready to go. You would be surprised how much you can do ahead of time and as a result feel like one of the guests at your party. 

How can you add some romance to a night in for Valentine’s Day?

It’s all about the food and mood! What’s more romantic than a picnic for two? People usually think of picnics being outdoors in the summer, but instead of being discouraged by the cold weather, I created our Valentine’s picnic baskets for couples who want to stay in but do something a little bit different. If you have a fireplace, even better! Just get out your coziest blanket and set up your intimate picnic right in the middle. 

Food styling can be such a challenge!  What’s your biggest piece of advice for making dishes look Pinterest-pretty?

Food styling can be a challenge so I like to keep it simple but pretty. I don’t like to feature more than 3 different main ingredients on a plate. The photo of our Valentine’s inspired lobster ravioli for example just has the ravioli, lobster and fresh peas. I like the food to lay naturally and maybe finish the dish with a micro green or fresh herb for color. I’ve found that natural plating is really what speaks to the pinterest-obsessed (myself included!).