Everyone’s welcome and no occasion is the occasion! When our house stylist Ida Lauga is hosting dinner in the hood, ambience and company is key. But a cute menu composed together with her French love, of course, doesn’t hurt.
What’s the occasion?
No occasion is the occasion! Any day works! It’s something I miss terribly from living in France for a long time, the way of being spontaneous, of just popping over to a friend’s place without a two-week-before scheduling.
Everyone is welcome! Colleagues, friends, neighbors, and the kids’ friends.
Evening starts at:
Usually, with an earlier dinner version for the kids and apéro for the adults, and then some sort of main around 8-9 pm.
What is served?
We’re trying not to have a lot of pressure around what is served; I think the company, ambiance, and the fact of the dinner happening are more important. With that said, we love food, and we like to cook and put little menus together. But it can really also be like this dinner – whatever was in the fridge. Who doesn’t love pasta with homemade tomato sauce and lots of little condiments on the side? Capers, lemons, almonds, burrata, french cheeses, oven-baked onions, and sardines, yum.
What do you drink?
Red, red wine!
What soundtrack sets the mood?
Unfortunately, I completely lost interest in music after attending music schools all my life, so I’m stuck somewhere between Beyoncé and early Kanye West. Luckily, my husband is quite interested and finds all kinds of good vibes for the guests.
What plates do you use?
Usually, this simple white plate that my mother-in-law bought for me at a French vintage market. We have 12, which I love, so there’s enough for big dinners! So amazed and thankful every single one of them survived the trip home.
What glasses do you use?
We exchanged all our small, odd vintage glasses that we had forever for the Ballon glass from La Rochere quite recently. I love the sturdiness!
What cutlery do you use?
This is something we definitely need to upgrade. We have a very simple old Ikea-set that is fine, but we would love to have something more special at some point. I love the Grand Prix-set by Kay Bojesen, for example. One day!
What flowers (or other eye-catchers) do you have on the table?
I very rarely buy flowers for myself, but I often have leftovers from jobs, and if I do, I love to have many of the same kind. Like you have just gone out and grabbed a bunch from your garden. I also think it’s nice to place a big sculpture of an empty sculptural vase as a centerpiece.
The evening ends at:
I’m, unfortunately, probably the one that goes to bed the earliest, but I really don’t mind, I actually love it! Lying in bed listening to my friends continuing the evening!
How would your guests describe you as a host?
I hope they feel that they are always welcome; that is my biggest aspiration as a host.
Any secret party tricks to share?
We are actually really bad at dessert, both my husband and I. We are just not interested in it, so it’s something that is often just forgotten, but we have come to realize that if we just have some mini ice cream cones or popsicles in the freezer, it usually works even for our most sweet tooth friends.
Images by Ida Lauga