William Ashley’s Holiday Hacks

The holidays are all about dazzling your guests with sumptuous dishes and the gold standard hosting skills your friends and family have come to love and expect. We know you’ll be working hard, so here are some tips from the pros at William Ashley. Our team has been spreading the joy of entertaining since 1947, making it through the seventies when ‘Hacking The Holidays’ meant an electric knife held over a crumbling bird. Although aspic isn’t making a comeback soon, entertaining with style will always be on our menu. From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!


Unlike the turkey, there will be no gasps of horror when serving a cold tablescape. Get your creative juices flowing the evening before with your favourite cocktail in hand and concentrate on food, family and friends on that special day. Setting the table can be an art form with the luxury of time on your hands. Keep the flower arrangements and candles below six inches for maximum face-time fun.

Luncheon plates are the secret weapons on your yuletide list. If they are a part of the dinnerware set, you’re laughing. If not, complement your china with a pop of pattern by adding a contrasting accent plate. You want to be knee deep, catching up with your posse, instead of thinking about the right time to run the dishwasher. If you’re thinking hand wash we’re coming over for an intervention!

“What is your secret to great entertaining? What are your holiday hacks?”


Does your flatware need a boost? We suggest the humble dessert knife. Nab a bunch of them. They make amazing pate spreaders, cheese course darlings and are a lifesaver wrapped with a salad fork for an impromptu brunch. The holidays are all about children’s laughter so make them feel special using these babies as mini-knives for the kiddie’s table.


Professional chefs agree, when thinking of baking for the festive season, invest in a quality mixer. You’ll be knocking out shortcake, whipping up fruitcakes from scratch and still have time to test the champagne before your guests arrive.


Your crystal isn’t just for beverages. Of course you can serve a stylish seafood salad in a martini glass, but a cut crystal double old-fashioned or highball makes a cool gazpacho/Bloody Mary appetizer- Don Draper style.


When it’s time to crown your table, try placing mirrors down the length and adding faceted votives to turn your dining room into a sparkling wonderland. As the sun goes down, your house will be wrapped in warm light and conversation. Take two deep breaths and congratulate yourself on a meal well planned. We knew you could do it!

Watch how Kenwood mixers can help you master the holidays!