The Daily’s Hamptons and Palm Beach Editor Lizzi Bickford Meadow invites us into her Connecticut home where she’s entertaining in style this holiday season. Last Friday night, Lizzi opened the doors of her countryside retreat to celebrate the holiday season with friends in style.
The fun-filled evening was attended by chicsters including tastemaker and comedian Courtney Davis, Maison Marche founder Sarah Easley, stylist and content creator Amy Guzzi, celebrated author Jane Green, power real estate broker Sarah Stone, artist and gallerist Cas Friese, and many more. Guests enjoyed fireside mixing and mingling, cold signature cocktails (shaken, never stirred!), an assortment of red, white, and sparkling wines from Caymus and The Wagner Family of Wines, and an array of delicious hors d’oeuvres fit for any gourmand from local fine food purveyor Palmer’s Market.
Ahead of the holidays, we asked Lizzi a few questions about why and how she loves to entertain during the season.
The holidays are such a busy time of year! How do you manage hosting a party with constant travel, work, kids, and everything else life lobs in your direction?
My nickname is “Busy Lizzi.” I sort of thrive in chaos. However, I stay grounded by remembering the “K-I-S-S” rule: Keep It Simple, Sweetheart! I love to host, but have a limited amount of time to get everything done. There are a few key things that guarantee a great event:
*Music: You really can’t go wrong with a curated mix of great music. I typically play Hotel Costes in the background as it puts me in my happy place…Paris!
*Lighting: Great lighting is key at any event or home. Make sure to dim the lights and always have an abundance of candlelight. This creates a great atmosphere that feels sexy and gets people into party-mode!
*Fresh flowers: This time of year, I love fresh, tall green (or even gold painted) boughs and branches with berries. It’s a nice ode to nature and it feels so festive. I visit my local flower market the day before the event, trim the stems, and set everything in buckets of warm water so the flowers bud or bloom overnight. I love huge, aromatic organic arrangements that don’t look too fussy. I use vintage silver pitchers and Champagne buckets instead of glass vases, with fresh moss and fruit to create centerpieces and table or mantle decor.
*Food: I like to keep it local and serve items that are seasonal. We have so many amazing small local fine food stores in the area that I love to shop throughout the year. My go-to for parties is Palmer’s Market in Darien, CT. They do a beautiful job and the food is always delicious!
*Greet your guests: Hosting at home is personal, special, and a wonderful way to connect with friends in a meaningful way. Make sure they feel the love when they walk through your door. And always remember, the best things you can greet your guests with is a cold glass of Champagne and a big welcoming smile.
What’s a fun way to personalize your event? How do you make it special?
A signature cocktail, of course! I took a cue from my friend Daphne Oz and whipped up her Espresso Martini recipe for guests looking for a little “something extra.” I shook the ‘tinis myself and served them in vintage crystal coupe glasses that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It was so much fun. I collect vintage barware and glassware and love using it at my parties—I even mix and match glasses so nothing looks too perfect. Everything in my home is super personal and has a story behind it. I like sharing the things I’ve collected throughout my life with friends, old and new.
We also prepared little holiday-inspired party favors for friends to take with them. Each bag included beauty products to keep everyone feeling fresh from head to toe. Items included Mario Badescu Facial Sprays, cocoa-scented nail polish by Nails Inc, festive holiday nails by Dashing Diva, and complimentary consultations with Darien-based Skin by Sarah Medical.
What’s a host to wear? What’s your go-to look when hosting at home?
Typically, when entertaining in the country, I love a luxe kaftan or long silk skirt paired with a cozy, chic sweater, and BIG earrings. I usually wear a flat that I can slip on and off, because I’m always barefoot at the end of the night. I like to look put together, but also comfortable. And that, I think, makes my guests comfortable.
For this holiday party I opted for something more lady-like. I wore a black, fitted velvet dress and a favorite pair of embellished satin Manolo Blahnik heels. I also wore a darker lip color than usual which felt elevated and a bit more formal. I was in the mood to feel dressed up…and grown up! I love that my guests got dressed up, too. Everyone looked so chic and it really made the room feel festive.