Get some top tips from Tash Khan, Managing Director of Appleyard London about dining with friends.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a former investment banker who fancied a change of career. I had a desire for creativity so I quit acquisition finance and bought a flower shop in London. In 2012, I sold this to Interflora after growing the florist 10 fold. With my passion for business and flowers still present, I created Ecomnova, which aims to become the next generation in flowers and gifting. Appleyard London is a luxury florist branded under Ecomnova.
How often do you get together with friends for dinner?
Often, I would say certainly once, sometimes twice a week.
What makes a great dining experience with friends?
Overall, great food combined with great wine and of course, great company.
Working for a luxury boutique florist do you find flowers play a big part in your dining experiences?
I do. With flowers, they are very much about the environment and how they contribute to the room. They bring happiness, warmth and decoration when dressing the room for dinner. At restaurants, it creates a special, well-kept feel and whilst cooking at home it can be the difference between a good time and a great experience. I find people will always comment on how beautiful they are.
Taking flowers as opposed to wine as a thank you gift goes down well as flowers are something the host is unlikely to have purchased for the occasion. It is something different and something they can use in their living room, hall, kitchen or even their bathroom.
If hosting a dinner party, which one flower would you want to include on the table?
Lily of the Valley – it’s delicate, elegant and beautiful.
What’s your thoughts on edible flowers? (have you ever tried them? do you like them? if you don't have an opinion on this, please don't worry about answering it)
I am all for edible flowers but I believe they make better decorations than anything else. At Appleyard London, we use a whole host of herbs within our bouquet’s foliage including lavender, eucalyptus, mint, rosemary and sage.
What would be your top tip (maybe up to 3 tips) for hosting a dinner party?
1 – Try and bring your personality to the dinner party in either the décor or the food. For instance, I try to use organic and locally sourced produce as that is a big interest of mine.
2 – Be well prepared with plenty of time for the finer details like the flowers, the environment and the aura of the room
3 – When attending a dinner party, don’t always take a bottle of wine as the gift. Try taking chocolates, a thank you card or flowers.