NEW YORK — Martha Stewart, author and authority on entertaining in the home, advocates using collectible china to create an inviting table.
For a brunch, which she describes as "a perfect way to entertain informally," she suggests a table of unusual china or pottery, one-of-a-kind glassware, mix-and-match flatware.
"Different styles, patterns and shapes play off each other well if color and size coordinate," she says.
Stewart, a member of the Great Entertainers Council formed by Champagne Perrier-Jouet four years ago as a source of information on entertaining styles and trends, also offers these suggestions:
The Special Touches
-- Fresh flowers, whether a single perfect bloom, a spray of daisies or a potted plant from the garden, are a must.
-- Amusing salt and pepper shakers, or a trio of dainty pottery pitchers accent a brunch table wonderfully.
-- Yellow, blue and green look especially good on a breakfast or luncheon table. Use brightly hued cloth napkins or pretty dish towels; if buffet style, roll each guest's utensils in a napkin and tie with ribbon.
-- Butter molds in interesting shapes add a special touch to the table and are a cinch to do ahead. Maple sugar butter is delicious on French toast.
-- Make one or two special breads ahead of time and freeze them until the night before the party. Easier still, buy wonderful breads to freeze.
-- Make the presentation beautiful; small details bring style to even the simplest fare. Carefully peel 4-minute eggs and place on wedges of toast; garnish French toast with a twist of sliced orange; serve creamy cafe au lait for a special treat.
Stewart, whose most recent book is "Quick Cook Menus," espouses entertaining at brunch because "you can have fun with a variety of dishes, you can do most of the preparation in advance and, best of all, it's less stressful than trying to entertain midweek."