The Guest of Honour in your own home
The Guest of Honour
- Start your ritual with walking around your place with the eyes of your guest of honour. Actually, it might help if you imagined this special guest being the Chief Editor of an über-glossy magazine. Her eagle eye wouldn’t miss a thing. Sharpen up and your guest of honour will get an instant ego-boost realizing you have made a super effort. As you know from having flicked through countless magazines, it’s not about sanitized tidiness, it’s about organizing your mess into a nonchalant photo-ready look. Move things with an unforgiving eye, walk around your place again and see how you feel. Refreshed? Inspired? Better?
- Always have Perfumed candles burning: I have had a quiet passion for the cult Rigaud candle. Jackie Kennedy used them profusely in the White House and so has every elegant lady in the States and in France since then. Rigaud has been making perfume for over a century and the amount of real natural perfume they put in is simply unequalled. Your senses will know the difference. They are as expensive as a quality bottle of Eau de Toilette, so I usually only light my candle when I have a really special guest, or…when I want to feel like one. Do it.
- Fresh flowers. Nothing is more charming than garden flowers but when all is buried under snow as it is now, buy three for the price of two at your local Mester Grønn and pinch some fir tree twigs from outside. The art of flower arranging isn’t as 1950’s as it sounds. It only takes a few minutes and rewards you with the calming pleasure of looking at your own ‘creation’ for five to six days. It may be short-lived and rather clichéd but your guest of honour would again be grateful for the effort you have made to make her or him feel so worthy. I love to use Chinese pots instead of regular vases. Cut the flowers shorter than feels comfortable and arrange them in a round mushroom ‘head’. Make sure your bunch is generous and that the opening of the pot goes in rather out to avoid the stems spreading out too much. The height of the bouquet should be a little higher than the size of your pot.
- Make a pot of tea as if it you were being filmed for a MasterChef audition.You will be sure to warm up the pot by filling it with boiling water. Wait a couple of minutes then pour the rest of the water on the loose tea leaves. Do that slowly. Put the lid of the pot back on. Wait for four to five minutes and remove the sieve to avoid the tea being too strong and bitter. Serve carefully into a nice porcelain tea cup. You know your guest of honour will feel much more important than if you gave her a kitchen mug and a tea bag. I always enjoy a cup of Earl Grey from a good old English tea pot but if I should treat my guest of honour I would share some of my absolute favourite Marco Polo tea by Mariage Frères. Not available in Norway to my despair but I take solace in using one of their beautiful crystal teapots. The design is so incredibly voluptuous it will make your guest of honour feel really exclusive. Try it.
- When receiving a special guest at home, the bedroom is, of course, a place you will pay special attention to. Your guest of honour’s ability to rejoice at Life’s small blessings and to cope with its many challenges depends hugely on the quality of the place where she or he spends almost a third of their life, namely, in bed. So: my main tip here is the word fresh. Fresh air, freshly aired mattress, duvet and pillows. As for the bed linen, I would recommend white. One cannot really beat that crispy white hotel look and feel. Even if you are at your mountain or Summer hytte and cover the bed with a slightly heavier and busier and more colourful sengeteppe, the feeling of getting white sheets are divine. Read my next piece for a full tutorial on the perfect sleep experience.
Making myself, my family and my friends feel like guests of honour is one of my small blessings in life and helps me feel better when reality bites.