Before Heart Evangelista became a certified style-setter, showbiz royalty and a senator’s wife, she was first a child who was first-hand witness to the rise of a successful restaurant business. (Her clan's Barrio Fiesta set the standard for other Filipino specialty restaurants to follow.) Together with her sister Camille and their cousins, she learned from their family how it is to prepare meals and entertain guests. It comes then as no surprise that she knows how entertain at home—and in style, too.
When photos of an intimate brunch she hosted for close friends Lovi Poe, Solenn Heussaff, and Irene Pacana-Liwanag sprung up over the weekend, it prompted us to ask her for a few ideas on entertaining at home in style. What we gathered from her were both practical tips and fashion girl-friendly wisdom.
What’s a healthy number of guests for an intimate holiday gathering at home?
"I love having people over! You can have as many guests as there are chairs for them to sit but for an intimate dinner or lunch, six is a good number."
Should they all be friends?
"Sometimes, it’s fun to mix people who don’t really know much about each other; that’s why I usually seat couples separately so they could mingle."
What if there are enemies on your table?
"I wouldn’t invite people who don’t like each other although I’ve never had a situation like that! Also, it’s Christmas—a good time to reconcile!"
If the host cannot cook and has no help at home, do you suggest catering, delivery or potluck?
"Delivery is convenient and ideal if you want to go by a certain theme. Then ask your guests to bring dessert."
White is a recurring theme in your home. Where do you source your tableware?
"Some are from my parents’ house and some I buy when I travel. Others are gifts. I love Pottery Barn and Hermès’ home line. I usually get my white linens from the MaArte fair. I also have items from Cura V in Rockwell and French silverware brand Christofle."
It’s not all white for this brunch, though.
"Yes! These are printed plates from Hermès that I love to mix and match. Speaking of plates, it’s important for me to change plates for every course. I don’t like dirty plates and I always want to make sure my guests feel important and special. The table has to always be pretty-looking and clean."
You make it look so easy. What’s your ultimate tip for Preview girls who want to host an intimate meal and set the table at home?
"Setting a table is like prepping an outfit! It doesn’t have to match; it just needs to look beautiful!"