Four easy ways to elevate your holiday entertaining

Four easy ways to elevate your holiday entertaining

Little upgrades can make all the difference when it comes to creating memorable holiday meals

From setting a tasteful spread to food and beverage pairings that enhance flavours, there are so many opportunities to create meaningful and delicious holiday moments. What’s the secret to making your entertaining occasions sparkle? As the adage goes, it’s all in the details. These four genius ideas are low effort but create a big impact.

Enhance your water offering

Whatever your holiday food traditions might be when it comes to dinner, don’t forget your drink pairing. Beyond the Riesling or Pinot Noir, remember the other essential sipper at the table—water. Create the ultimate dinner experience by taking a cue from restaurant culture and placing iconic green bottles of S.Pellegrino on the table. The natural sparkling mineral water, tapped from a single source in the Italian Alps, is a longtime favourite of the world’s finest restaurants and most accomplished chefs, and for good reason. It’s the No. 1 choice thanks to its gentle bubbles, persistent carbonation and rich minerality. It’s a palate cleanser that helps kick-start flavour receptors on the tongue so you and your guests will enjoy your feast to the fullest.

Stock a stylish bar

An artfully appointed home bar sets the scene for truly exceptional holiday entertaining, particularly when the bottles have a local connection. So set your party scene with a selection of locally crafted small-batch spirits like whisky, gin and vodka. Then pull out all the style stops with inspired garnishes; think herb sprigs, fruit skewers and holiday-inspired spices like star anise. A few bottles of S.Pellegrino will round out your bar cart and provide a fizzy sip for anyone not drinking alcohol.

Lean on takeout

Exceptional entertaining can take many forms, and you don’t need to be a slave to your kitchen to throw the ultimate fête. If you don’t cook, or don’t want to experience party FOMO as you rush around cooking, special takeout can be a wonderful solution. Why not treat your guests to a seafood tower or oysters with all the packed fixings? There are many great Toronto restaurants that offer unique takeout options for the holidays. Order ahead, take the time to set a wow table, and then enjoy your own party.

End the evening on a sweet note

Treats are synonymous with the holidays, from festive cookies to bûche de Noël. A serve-yourself sweets buffet rather than dessert at the table means something for everyone, plus guests get a last chance to mingle while indulging. (Again, it’s not cheating to go store-bought here; stop by your favourite local bakery for showstopping sweets.) Here’s an inspired twist: theme your spread by colour, with everything in shades of gold and pink, for instance. Extra display points for serving dishes of different heights, from cake stands to pretty tiered dishes. Lastly, be sure to reward yourself with a favourite treat for your next-level hosting.