Christmas Hosting Q&A with Tart London

Christmas Hosting Q&A with Tart London

With just over ten days to go until the big day, we caught up with Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison, aka Tart London to talk hosting and entertaining during the festive season. Jemima and Lucy are the duo behind bespoke catering company Tart London, London restaurant Wild by Tart, and the Wild by Tart online shop.

Image courtesy of Tart LondonImage courtesy of Tart London

With Christmas gatherings back on the cards this festive season, could you share your top tips for hosting guests in your home during Christmas?

Preparing everything in advance is key. You want to spend as much time as you can with your friends and family, and you don’t want to be stressed so plan your menus now, and be realistic – don’t create menus that will stretch you too far. Go all out on the table to wow your guests and you can then go simple with the food. Tablescaping is huge this year so take advantage and pick up some fabulous pieces and make sure you lay your table the day before so you can concentrate on the food, the music and yourself! 

Image courtesy of Tart LondonImage courtesy of Tart London

What are your go-to canapes for greeting guests over the festive season?

Wild mushroom & chestnut croquettes

These are just what we feel like, for most occasions. They can be easily prepped a few days in advanced and then take out of the freezer ready to fry. They feel extra luxe with a little drizzle of truffle oil over the top.

Oysters – the perfect starter or canapé for a pre Christmas party. 

1 tsp Angostura bitters

½ shallot, very finely chopped

1 tbsp Sherry vinegar

1 tsp honey

We wouldn’t argue with a simple squeeze of lemon and a dash of tobacco being the ideal seasoning to an oyster, but if you feel like being more adventurous these are our favourite recipes, and the angostura bitters one is our Christmas special.  

OysterImage courtesy of Tart London

And do you have a favourite Christmas cocktail that you like to serve?

We always tend to leave the cocktails to the last minute as we’re so busy in the kitchen, so we’ve learnt that a cracking Christmas Bellini is the cocktail to go for. There’s no need to worry about mixing and the shaking, you just need to pour the prosecco into the puree and it’s ready to go! Pomegranate and Cardamom is a great one for this time of year. 

Image courtesy of Tart LondonImage courtesy of Tart London

When it comes to dressing the all-important Christmas table, do you have any hacks or tips you can share with us?

Our top tablescaping tips are:

  • The table should be laid and decorated the night before so when you tiptoe down in the morning to make yourself a coffee it will all be glistening in the sharp morning light – what a good way to start the day stress free. 
  • Always introduce different heights to your table, from glasses to candlesticks, and raised platters of food
  • We love a wild, natural look so be sure to throw in colours, greenery and seasonal flowers where possible, again at different heights along the table
  • Lighting is key, even at breakfast. Use candles of all different shapes and sizes and even go as far as using twinkly fairy lights (we like hanging fairy lights on the mantelpiece too) to create a beautiful soft glow. If you are lucky enough to have a fire in the kitchen then light that too!
  • Not forgetting the most important mood maker: music. The essential ingredient to a good dinner party is to play music that will make you feel confident and happy.

TablescapeImage courtesy of Tart London

What are your own plans for Christmas hosting and entertaining this year?

This year, we are having Christmas supper instead of lunch so we’ll be going big on breakfast. We love doing this as it means we can make the most of the day – even fitting in a good brisk walk before starting to tipple on our pomegranate spiked blinis. 

Tablescape with foodImage courtesy of Tart London

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