Host How I Host: Emma Jesberg

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Hosts with imaginations all their own

Design Director of EJ Interior Design

"Glassware—no one wants to drink out of plastic."

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What's your process for planning a gathering in your home?

I always start with a theme or what the table is going to look like. Or what flowers are in season! I also love incorporating an activity, game, or surprise element into the brunch, lunch, or dinner.

What are your go-to party activities or games to break the ice?

Having guests write letters to themselves that they will open at another dinner party the next year! I hide a notecard under guest's dinner plates and during dessert have them write a note to themselves that I will save for another fun gathering.

"Having guests write letters to themselves that they will open at another dinner party the next year!"

If you had a limited budget to put together a small dinner party, what would you focus on for the tablescape?

Flowers—even if its just a few single stems in bud vases. And glassware—no one wants to drink out of plastic.

What makes a great gathering memorable?

Gathering a unique group of people that might not know each other. There is nothing better than friends mentioning months later they met a new friend and they have been hanging out.

" There is nothing better than friends mentioning months later they met a new friend and they have been hanging out.

If someone is feeling overwhelmed by hosting their friends in their home, what tips would you give them?

One step at a time! Find a date, get inspired by something: A recipe, a theme, an occasion, and commit to it!

"One step at a time! Find a date, get inspired by something."

Favorite recipe or food to serve when hosting?

Melissa Clark's Harissa Chicken With Leeks, Potatoes, & Yogurt.  An elevated crowd pleaser and you can prep it ahead of time.  I am all about a sheet pan dish. I also add cauliflower to this dish.

What is the soundtrack to a dinner party in your home? Have any favorite playlists?

So many to share on Spotify!

What is your favorite partytrick?

You will have to come over to know!

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