I’m so excited to introduce you all to Andy from Plum Deluxe today. Plum Deluxe is a subscription tea service and online community focused on finding affordable luxury and creating moments that matter. He recently defined (his current view of) affordable luxury as “the things in your life, the experiences – the objects, that do not require a large amount of time or money to make you feel really good” on Episode 38 of Tara Gentile’s podcast (totally worth the listen), Profit Power Pursuit.
After listening to Andy talk about affordable luxury, trying to help people slow down and enjoy the important things in life, and hearing his business story (which involved event planning for a while) I knew I wanted to hear his take on parties.
I absolutely loved his answers, and I know you all won’t be disappointed.
Tell us about your party-hosting style.
If we narrowed it down to a two-word phrase (like they do on those restaurant and hotel remodel shows), I’d call it “elegant comfort.” For example, a recent party I had made homemade cream puffs with my mom’s pastry cream recipe – phenomenal – with prosecco and a Costco cheese plate. Who doesn’t like Costco?! And we just sat around the table on the back patio. I think people are not hungry for fancy foods or fancy table settings or fancy drinks – those are nice, but people are hungry for connection. I like to have things that make people feel special and treated, but then just create the space for people to connect.
Where did your love of party planning begin?
I lived in Europe for a very long time, and all of my friends were social hosts – and it’s almost a requirement to return the favor, so I became a regular to host a Sunday cocktail with cheesy bacon quiche!
What are your go-to appetizers?
I love a good savory popcorn, or roasted nuts – even some cinnamon almonds are a nice warm up. For a sit-down appetizer, I almost always do a soup and bread with salty or infused butter. And of course – cheese, cheese, cheese!
What are your go-to entrees?
Hmm – if I’m having several people I tend to aim for casseroles (like chicken broccoli) because I like to make sure people go home with a full tank. I also love pea parmesan risotto or mango chicken with rice.
What are your go-to desserts?
I love crème brulee or custards because you can have a variety of flavors prepared in advance. Depending on the scene I also a mean salted chocolate chip oatmeal cookie.
What are your go-to beverages?
Prosecco, vinho verde, rose wine, sangria.
What do you usually bring to a potluck?
Really nice cheese, or dessert (see above).
Do you decorate for the festivities?
I don’t often decorate the house, but I do like a really good table setting – thoughtfully chosen plates, centerpiece, etc. Lighting is also important to me – you want it intimate but also not like a dark bar. Candles, twinkle lights, dimmer switches can do wonders here.
Tell us about the best party you’ve ever hosted.
Many years ago I hosted a dinner party that was a brunch party. I’d never heard of it before, but my favorite dish is breakfast, so why not? Drinks were really nice mimosas and a bloody mary bar. I made homemade biscuits, cheesy eggs, mini pancakes, bacon, sausage. I felt like a line cook in a diner, but we had an amazing time (and nobody had to get up early). I highly recommend it.
What’s your biggest hostess challenge?
Getting a party on the calendar. Gotta plan ahead to make sure people can, and do, RSVP.
What’s your best tip for someone who wants to be a great party hostess?
People don’t care about how clean your house is. They care about being heard, connecting with like-minded people. So make time to listen. Have some thoughtful conversation starters. Connect people. Worry more about deep connection than dust bunnies.
I love this so much. That’s exactly what parties are about – connecting people. Everything else is really just icing on the cake. And I love that cheese is pretty much the answer to everything.
If you’d like to hear more from Andy be sure to sign up for The Blend, the Plum Deluxe weekly newsletter that comes out on Sunday mornings. You’ll be seeing a guest post on his site from yours truly soon. You can also check out my posts on Plum Deluxe blog about It’s Your Birthday Party: Do What You Want and Dipping Duo: Two Appetizers for Your Next Bash.
To check out past hostesses of the month visit the links below:
|Chrystina Noel||Chrystina’s Mom||Sweet Love & Ginger|
|Recipe for Success||
Brigette I Design
Parties for Pennies