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If staying in is the new going out this New Year's, we've got just the person to ring in 2021 with style and spirit. London-based designer and FLOWERBX favourite Emilia Wickstead is here to kickstart the celebrations with her best-kept party secrets, favourite dinner party flowers and of course, her resolutions for a hopeful 2021.

So, whether guidelines are allowing you to host an intimate dinner party with loved ones or you're celebrating with your significant other half or housemate, let our inspirational Q&A fill you with anticipation for the night (and year) ahead.

Dress up or dress down?

I’m a strong believer in the power of getting dressed and talk about it often, so I’d have to say: dress up — whatever the definition of this means to you. Formal or casual with a twist, so long as you feel strong, comfortable and I always think powerful and transformative. This is what dressing up feels like for me. We all need a touch of escapism and excitement from dressing.

Cocktail hour means?

Dressing up, margaritas and dirty martinis, with a great playlist to set the mood.

How will your celebrations be different this year?

Different, because we will not be celebrating with friends and in large numbers, yet I will keep to my tradition of setting the table with small little festive details and big festive flowers that elevate and make New Year’s Eve a dressed up affair all around.

On my playlist?

The Supremes, Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen.

My dinner table is never without?

FLOWERBX flowers in abundance.

“ We all need a touch of escapism and excitement from dressing. ”
Emilia Wickstead
Chantilly Lace Dendrobium Cut Orchid
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Favourite dinner party flowers?

As of right now, bunches of red ‘rouge’ hypericum

What’s for dinner?

Roast Lamb — I am from New Zealand and love to feel a little piece of home away from home.

Home-cooked or catered?

Home-cooked — the joy of preparing and cooking as a family is just as enjoyable for me as the meal that we eat together.

Best kept party secret?

Music on great speakers. In my opinion the sound of music is everything — just as much as the choice of music playing and is a game changer for everything. Dressing up I think also is a best kept party secret; We don’t often realise the impact of it but it can very easily create excitement and energy in a room. And finally, grounded guests are the most fun — their conversation and personalities — the realer the better!

Greatest recipe ever copied off a restaurant menu?

Chocolate Nemesis Cake from The River Café

“Grounded guests are the most fun, their conversation and personalities, the realer the better! ”
Emilia Wickstead
 
 

Dream dinner guests?

My husband and children

Truth or dare?

Truth

What's for pudding?

A quintessential New Zealand dessert of Pavlova. My favourite recipe is from New Zealand’s iconic Edmond’s Cookbook, which was passed down to me by my mother and grandmother. It’s decadent yet deceptively simple, so a failsafe choice for entertaining. Making a pavlova feels like bringing a piece of my motherland to my London home.

Herbal tea or nightcap after dinner?

Nightcap

How do traditionally ring in the new year? How will this year be different?

With best friends around my table and a bit of tinsel everywhere. And white flowers to ring in the new year and a fresh year ahead

How do you start the first day of a new year? Any resolutions? Personal and professional? The new year? How will this year be different?

My resolution every year is to be a better person. One step back and big steps forward.

Chantilly Lace Dendrobium Cut Orchid
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