Be our guest: Discovering the art of hosting with Clos19

Words by
Charlotte McManus

18th December 2017

The luxury lifestyle retail venture from LVMH, we find out about Clos19’s newest experiences while founder Stephanie Watine-Arnault reveals her top hosting tips

Launched earlier this spring by Moët Hennessy, Clos19 is an exceptional venture designed to help any occasion go off with a bang. From fine champagnes, wines and spirits from LVMH to rare collectables, thoughtful gifts and memorable experiences, everything on offer on the online luxury platform reinforces the company’s No.1 agenda: “The Art of Hosting”.

Now – just in time for Christmas – Clos19 has added two new “Become the Host” experiences to its growing roster, where every detail can be catered for bespoke for true ‘host with the most’ credentials (think food, drink, staff, décor and so on).

Foodies will delight in the ultimate Festive Dinner, which includes a personal event planner, a curated playlist, a tailor-made menu from a top private chef, drinks pairings (presented on the night by a sommelier, of course), delightfully Christmassy floral arrangements and – adding a nice old-school touch – instant-photo cameras and film. Clos19 have also teamed up with Paris-based artist Marianna Guély on an assortment of beautiful paper sculptures and decorations, which can also be made to the host’s taste.

Otherwise, those wanting to offer their guests something a little different can plump for the Champagne Tasting & Wreath-Making Workshop. Combining creative crafts with top-notch fizz, a Clos19 sommelier will give a guided master class on some of LVMH’s most popular champagnes, while an expert florist is at hand to help attendees create an elegant keepsake wreath with decorative flowers, succulents and natural adornments.

Stephanie Watine-Arnault
Stephanie Watine-Arnault

Stephanie Watine-Arnault

 

We caught up with Clos19 founder Stephanie Watine-Arnault – niece to LVMHF chairman Bernard Arnault – to get her expert tips on hosting the perfect event.

What are your top tips for hosting a great event?

Preparation and planning beforehand. Then, relax and enjoy yourself when hosting so your guests will too!

What kinds of elements help make an event really special?

Music, lighting and flowers help set the ambiance and personal stories behind what you are serving make it more memorable.

Champagne
Champagne tasting and Christmas wreath workshop

Champagne tasting and Christmas wreath workshop

What do you do to make people feel welcome?

I make introductions as quickly as possible so that everyone has met, and I give context to how I know everyone. Of course, I always ensure that guests are offered something to drink as soon as they arrive.

What are some common mistakes people make when hosting?

Trying to cook complicated dishes which take last-minute preparation – and not having enough ice in the freezer! Forgetting to enjoy themselves whilst hosting is also a common mistake.

What’s the most memorable event that you have hosted yourself?

My wedding – I had the best time, as did all my guests (so they told me!).

A standout event you have been invited to in the past?

The opening of Louis Vuitton on Place Vendôme where, after the event, there was a private concert with Will Smith. It was a complete surprise; he was energetic and engaging and focused on songs that we all knew – it was nostalgic fun.

Are there any new/interesting trends for Christmas and party season this year?

Serving food and wine in surprising formats is always fun. For champagnes, wines and spirits, look to magnums, jeroboams or bespoke bottles to add theatre and help create memorable moments.

Champagne
Creative ways of serving wine and champagne

Creative ways of serving wine and champagne

Where are some good places/brands to source decorations?

For my tree and apartment, I love the decorations at Christmas markets in Germany. For more general table decorations and tableware, I have inherited and collected from such brands as Baccarat, Saint-Louis, Dior, Astier de Villate and 1stdibs.

What kind/s of music do you like to play when hosting?

This completely depends on the occasion and the time of night, I have different playlists for the cocktail and aperitif hours, the dinner hours and then after dinner. I love to mix in eclectic unknown tracks with more well known artists.

Tasty canapés that always go down well?

I love to cook traditional French gougères or parmesan crisps; they both also give a wonderful aroma to your house when fresh out of the oven.

Laid table
Table setting by Clos19

Table setting by Clos19

Clos19’s Festive Dinner experience starts at £950 pp for a group of 8 or £880 pp for a group of 10, whilst the Champagne Tasting & Wreath-Making Workshop starts at £690 pp for a group of 4 and £620 pp for a group of 6. For more details, visit Clos19.com.