India is the daughter of the late David Hicks, an English interior decorator and designer, noted for using bold colors, mixing antique and modern furnishings, and contemporary art for his famous clientele. She is also the cousin and goddaughter to Prince Charles, and was a bridesmaid for Lady Diana.
India Hicks is known for her irreverent take on style. In her previous books, she invited readers into her homes on Harbour Island and in England. For her third book, India presents her own slightly madcap spin on entertaining. Organized by meal, the book begins marvelously with the most important meal of the day–cocktail hour–and ends with breakfast. In between, there are family suppers and big dinners, birthday cakes and Christmas crackers, great British breakfasts, quick teas and long lunches, mustard pots as vases, and bedcovers for tablecloths.
Like India, these stories are full of personality, from the Panic Dinner (or what to do when you suddenly have a crowd descending) to the Naked Cake (cake decorating for the harried or untalented) to a White Christmas in the Bahamas.
Each celebration includes clever advice and inspiration for place settings, homemade flower arrangements, table design, and more. These are parties that make use of what is on hand, whether it’s beach towels thrown down a long table, children’s candy piled in cups on a tray, or massing palm fronds collected from the lawn.
Beautifully photographed and embellished here and there with a bit of Hicks family lore, the book is rounded out with a sprinkling of recipes from India’s beloved cook, Claire Williams, fondly known as Top Banana, and other family members, from traditional English fare such as Victoria Sponge to tropical treats such as the Marquess’s Banana Daiquiri.
Brooke Shields wrote the foreword.
This book is available online.