Want to make your next dinner party super easy – and Mediterranean! There’s a retail and bistro concept that has everything you need to create it, from furniture, crockery and cutlery to delicious food inspired by Greece and Italy. Co-founder of House of Anli and Pano Kato Grill, PANAGIOTIS LYNAS shows us how!
We’re hosting a dinner party and need to create a dining concept from scratch – how do we go about it?
Firstly, I’d start with the table itself. I would pick our Versailles solid oak extendable table, which starts as a round 110cm diameter table that can be extended to 270cm, easily seating eight guests. I’m a fan of natural oak, as it’s easy to maintain using natural beeswax, and looks natural yet bold in an understated way.
I’d pair the table with our oak Montreal chairs. The chairs are finished with a rattan backrest and come with seating cushions in natural washable linen.
The table and chairs can be ordered from our “ready-to-go” range, which means we can deliver them to your home within 24 hours.
Now that we have that sorted, let’s talk table setting.
A great table needs a great tablecloth or a runner. For a tablecloth, I’d select a nice colour from our coated linen range from France; or opt for our 100 percent cotton runner for its simplicity. I’d pair the runner with contrasting natural cotton napkins. Both the runner and napkins come in many colours and can be recycled, reused and re-washed up to three times. They’re completely biodegradable and compostable.
Every great table needs well-considered crockery. What would you recommend?
I’d select crockery from either our fine stoneware Nova range from Portugal, which is a really nice and simple collection, baked at a high temperature so it’s shock-resistant. Or, for something with more flair, go for the exclusive hand-painted ceramic range from Italy. This range has vibrant designs ranging from leaves and fruit to sea animals. It’s a visual collection – and quite a talking point over dinner; and it’s made exclusively for House of AnLi.
Wonderful; how about cutlery?
For cutlery I’d go with the handmade Laguiole Jean Dubost range. This French brand uses the finest materials and really has an artisanal craftsman quality; they’re made to last.
Any other decorative pieces for our dining concept?
For a bold statement and conversation starter, I’d hang our Matti chandelier above the table; it’s made of wood and iron, and handcarved and finished in raw form. For smaller touches on the table, bring in some colour and the essence of Mediterranean beaches with our napkin rings made in black lip shell. We also have some votive cylindrical semi-transparent candles that I would scatter on the table for a simple and elegant setting, reminiscent of balmy evenings on a Greek island.
House of AnLi is a furniture retail plus a food concept. What would you have on a Mediterranean dinner party menu?
For food, I’d order from our Greek restaurant Pano Kato in Tanglin Mall – we have a range of mouthwatering Mediterranean favourites. For starters, serve the homemade mezze platter and dips like taramosalata (my father’s specialty), melinzanosalata (roasted eggplant) and tzatziki. These are wonderful sharing dishes that remind me of family dinners and bonding over laughter and fine food.
As a centre dish, I’d definitely serve our signature moussaka. It’s authentically Greek, with a secret ingredient from my own mother’s exact recipe. I’d also serve spanakopita, the popular spinach pie with fresh feta and dill; plus, a fresh, crunchy and crisp Greek salad on the side.
For Italian-loving guests, our takeaway pizzas are freshly baked with cherry wood in our Pavesi oven, so they have a distinct flavour. I’d also serve our catch of the day, and a selection of charcoaled meats, which we grill in our Josper charcoal grill oven.
And, to wash everything down in true Greek spirit, a magnum of Katogi Greek wine, from a mountainous estate in Western Greece.
Oh, and save space for dessert, too, as no House of AnLi Mediterranean dinner party would be complete without a portion of Greek baklava. Our Belgian chocolate mousse and tiramisu are also favourites.
So, House of AnLi can literally sort out our dinner party from scratch?
Yes, indeed – and we can cater for last-minute orders, from furniture to Mediterranean dinner party food. Everything can be ordered online. For furniture, we need 24 hours to deliver, but for food we can arrange same-day delivery. The only thing you need to sort out is the party invitations!