When it comes to throwing dinner parties and gatherings, no one knows how to bring together a cool group of powerful women better than Amanda Alvaro. As the president and co-founder of Toronto-based PR agency Pomp and Circumstance , the PR maven is a queen at assembling women and hosting fun and aspirational girls-only hang-outs (from casual dinners to baking parties!) in her beautiful home. 

“I think the care you put into creating a beautiful table not only sets the mood, but also tells your guests how important their enjoyment is to your evening,” says Alvaro. “That could be investing into a wow-worthy tablescape or having a candle-lit space or bringing the outdoors in with some fresh stems. But most important is that it’s warm and inviting. If it’s too formal or stuffy, I’ve lost the plot.”

With Galentine's Day just around the corner, we thought we get in touch with her to ask how she's creating a wow-worthy tablescape this year. Read on for a few of her top tips.

Connect people with a seating plan.

“My favourite thing is bringing together women from different parts of my life. At dinner, I try to create a seating plan that lends itself to people connecting with someone they don’t know as well–sparking new connections and friendships. Dinner parties are notoriously the place where a business idea is concocted or a set-up is conspired. I love how those brief connections could lead to something special.”

Step out of your design comfort zone.

“My favourite thing about Misette was how it forced me to rethink colour and texture. The bold prints and colour palette of the designs I chose for my home is a departure from a lot of the monochromatic designs on the shelves. (I mean, I have pink dining chairs!)  I use the Colorblock linens and placemats all the time–for dinner parties or just casual gatherings. Not only do they add some whimsy and playfulness to the table, they say: 'We care about style but we’re not that serious here. Get ready for a fun night!’

Candles, candles and more candles.

“I love dining by candlelight. I think it’s more intimate and romantic and generally evokes the feeling of whisking away from the everyday.”

Don’t forget to add fresh flowers, too. 

“I also always include flowers in every setting. Sometimes over-the-top and dramatic and sometimes just a few simple stems. Either way, fresh flowers in my home make me happy, especially during the colder winter months.

February 04, 2023 — Renée Tse