December 11th, 2019
On My Mind

Relaxed Entertaining

The holiday season is in full swing and I’ve been catching up with lots of old friends, which has been good for the soul. Last evening a number of former Vogue editors from the ’90s had a reunion that went late into the night. One woman even flew in from Rome, an extra treat. The importance of getting together and keeping friendships strong was driven home. I don’t do a ton of entertaining because I find it stressful, so the goal for 2020 is to relax my entertaining game and welcome more friends into my home.

Images courtesy Domino and WSJ


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  • I have the same exact goal! I seem to only entertain for family these days because it’s relaxed and easy. I want to bring that same vibe and start having friends over again. I also get so stressed because I feel everything has to be perfect, homemade and spectacular etc. So that creates so much stress and I dismiss the idea.
    As you say…TBC……xo

    KathyDecember 11th, 2019  11:41 AM

  • That’s my goal, too!

    JenniferDecember 11th, 2019  2:47 PM

  • Hear,hear!

    KimDecember 11th, 2019  3:31 PM

  • I may copy your goal, another great idea from you Preston! 🙂

    VIVIDecember 11th, 2019  3:54 PM

  • So glad I’m not alone.
    Thanks for inspiration Preston


    SusanDecember 11th, 2019  4:39 PM

  • “Remember, “No one’s more important than people!’ In other words, friendship is the most important thing–not career or housework, or one’s fatigue–it needs to be tended and nurtured.”—Julia Child

    LindaDecember 11th, 2019  5:15 PM

  • Friends wish to enjoy your company. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Rich I know coming from the perfectionist.
    I had two friends come for dinner and to stay overnight as I live in the country and it was beautiful. People behave differently in a home than a restaurant, more relaxed too.

    GillyDecember 11th, 2019  6:36 PM

  • This is my thought process as well. Going into a new decade with a relaxed entertaining vibe

    JeanDecember 11th, 2019  8:19 PM

  • I’m the same regarding the stress of entertaining. The food prep can be stressful, but I enjoy that part of it. My husband’s and my daily lifestyle doesn’t allow for spontaneous entertaining, in my opinion. I feel like its a major undertaking to prep the house for guests. I have often wondered why this is. Glad to hear I am not alone .

    AprilDecember 11th, 2019  9:17 PM

  • After a big birthday, my mantra became “use everything, wear everything, don’t postpone happiness.” I am much better at “acting on happiness” than I used to be. I’m not talking about gluttony or over-indulgence, but we work to accumulate beautiful things, we create beautiful environs, I’ve dedicated decades to creating beautiful outdoor spaces, and it is meant to be used and lived in and shared. In the past, I admit to worrying about imperfection and judgment. Nothing like age to get over that! : )) I’ve also learned to admit when I need backup help and not apologize or feel guilty about it. I would love to see posts/hear stories in 2020 about entertaining at home! : ))

    PaulaDecember 11th, 2019  10:35 PM

  • I will, especially since we just bought a house from an uber entertainer — even the barn is a party space…

    PrestonDecember 12th, 2019  6:11 AM

  • When my Portuguese husband and I lived in the States, he would wake up on a Saturday morning and say “ok, who should we invite for dinner tonight?” And I would have a panic attack and list all of the reasons it would never work — people already have plans, they need babysitters, the house isn’t clean etc etc etc. After we moved to Portugal, I understood that this is really how people live here!! (Imagine: if friends are passing through the neighborhood, they just ring the doorbell — it’s been a steep learning curve for me) It’s forced me to chill out:), embrace the spontaneity and honestly have more fun. (Also it helped that I adopted a menu strategy that works well every time) Cheers to more get-togethers in 2020!

    MaureenDecember 12th, 2019  7:53 AM

  • I like to entertain in small numbers of only 8. I love the food preparation and all because I love to cook, but don’t eat much. However, when your guests drink too much and break things, it’s not fun anymore. There’s always one who likes the wine a little too much.

    TracyDecember 12th, 2019  12:14 PM

  • Mazel tov on the new digs Preston!

    M K OkayDecember 12th, 2019  3:34 PM

  • Good because I’ll be dropping in at your new Bedford home on my way to and from Taft!!!!!

    KATE BETTSDecember 12th, 2019  10:55 PM

  • I recently visited my aunt and uncle, who are my ideal models of hosts – warm, sophisticated, and loving – and whose homes have all been built around entertaining. Nestled into oversized leather couches, in front of a wood fire, we tucked into an amazing spread of appetizers. There were about eight platters and bowls of salmon and rye bread, shrimp, baked brie, and more, casually laid out on the coffee table. It was perfect and reminded me that entertaining is about hearty laughs, great conversation, and warm hospitality. I’m going to invite people over more often and stress less in 2020.

    Congrats on your new house!

    NikDecember 12th, 2019  10:57 PM

  • Preston and Paula – y’all are inspiring. “Use everything, wear everything, don’t postpone happiness.” Because what brings us more joy than family and friendship?

    Laura MDecember 16th, 2019  8:28 PM


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