Valentines Day is one of those party themes that can easily end up looking cheesy and clichée. From heart-shaped everything to over the top hues of pinks & reds, sometimes we forget that just a little of these decor pieces go a long way.
We seek expert advice from Sebastien and Sheila Cetner, co-owners of EATertainment, one of Canada’s most recognized special event and catering company. Recently, the husband-and-wife team published their first book—EATertainment: Recipes and Ideas for Effortless Entertainment.
Touted as one of “10 Must-Have Canadian Cookbooks” by Food Bloggers of Canada, it contains more than 100 recipes, instructions how to set the table, what flowers to pick, how to prepare for the event and more.
Here are five tips from Sebastien and Sheila on how to pull together a love fest without feeling like cupid dropped a bomb in your space.
In our exclusive interview, Seb and Sheila suggests going the unexpected route for those ‘Valentine’ touches. “If you can avoid anything you can get from a party shop, you are on the right path,” says Seb.
Flowers are an excellent way to introduce those red and pink hues without it being overly cheesy, and they don’t have to be roses. In fact, they don’t have to be real to make an impact.
Spring tulips or even silk flowers are a great way to introduce pink and red Valentine’s colours without breaking the bank.
You can also incorporate flowers in your drinks by freezing edible flowers in ice cubes for a romantic touch of elegance to your water station, cocktails, or as Sheila insists, Prosecco.
You can even transform part of your charcuterie board into edible roses by arranging sliced cold cuts into rosettes. Use a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter to stamp a few pieces of cheeses, and you will have a charming and on-theme presentation.
Another challenge often facing urban dwellers who want to host a party is space. How do you set up the room for a natural flow? Where do I put the food, the drinks and heck, the people? Coincidentally, Seb and Sheila have recently moved to a condo, and they have 12 very practical tips on entertaining in a smaller space based on their own experiences.
One important tip from Sheila is that you do not have to make everything from scratch for a party, especially if it involves a new recipe or a new technique. The hosts should get to enjoy the party too.
Of course, for Concord condo residents, your entertaining space is not limited to your own suite. Every condo is equipped with its own amenities for hosting larger groups. For example, at the Mega Club at Seasons Condo, there are ample choices for entertaining for the exclusive use of the residents.
Indoor facilities include multiple lounges, such as a wine lounge and piano lounge, a banquet room with adjacent kitchen plus a tea room overlooking a Japanese Zen garden. Come warmer weather, there are several al fresco options, each with its own distinctive vibe—a poolside BBQ lounge, a patio overlooking the English garden , or under a leafy pergola by a French maze garden.
With a bit of pre-planning, from emptying the dishwasher and putting enough hangers in the front closet for coats before guests arrive, to making some of the dishes ahead or getting your sushi takeout place to use your supplied platter instead of the standard black plastic trays, Seb and Sheila shared so many useful tips on how to host an engaging, effortless and elegant party even in a smaller space.
For more tips on entertaining, check out Seb and Sheila’s new book, EATertainment.