Entertain Like Bettina Prentice
Fete Home: What’s the first thing you consider when hosting a party?
Bettina Prentice: It is the people that make the dinner party so I try to invite a real mix of people from different industries. There are always artists around our table but also authors, poets, folks in publishing, fashion, design… We also love a good playlist that is heavy on soul and blues.
Fete Home: What’s something we’d never find at one of your parties?
Bettina Prentice: The music will never be so loud that you can’t have a conversation with your tablemates.
Fete Home: What’s something we’d always find at one of your parties?
Bettina Prentice: Place cards. For a large party it is a must. You put someone fun and gregarious at the head, a couple of fun, flirtatious people in the center etc. Friends across from never next to each other and your night is golden.
Fete Home: What’s always in your fridge? Are you always party-ready?
Bettina Prentice: We always have the ingredients for a great antipasto plate. We may not be always party ready but caviar on baby potato with a touch of sour cream is my go-to hors d’oeuvres.
Fete Home: What’s the best party you’ve ever hosted and why?
Bettina Prentice: I did a time travel experience to the year 1928 for the Museum of Arts & Design a few years ago. We took over the James Burden Mansion on 91st street and parked a 1929 Ford Phaeton at the entrance. The entire evening was period, we really wanted guests to feel transported to another time. The artist honoree Peter McGough invited a group of New York based “dandies” who “live” in this period and they all came and looked marvelous and absolutely danced their hearts out to Dandy Wellington’s band. The press raved that it was the party of the year and I had never seen Bill Cunningham so happy.
Fete Home: What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and why?
Bettina Prentice: Lauren & Andres Santo Domingo’s Christmas party in Gramercy Park every year is not only beautiful but also so relaxed and fun. There is no greater hostess in my book.
Fete Home: If you could throw a party anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Bettina Prentice: Up in the mountains, where guests all arrive by sleigh, covered in cashmere blankets and flushed from the cold. We would have fondue and lots of wine and sit beside a roaring fire watching the stars.
Fete Home: With a limited budget to spend on party décor, what’s the most important thing you would you buy?
Bettina Prentice: Food can be simple but it should be very good quality so skip your local supermarket and hit the farmer’s market. Also there are these wonderful rose colored bulbs that create a very flattering and inviting glow. And splurge on the first two bottles of wine.
Fete Home: What 3 movies would you bring with you to a desert island?
Bettina Prentice: The Princess Bride, The Fifth Element and Fletch.
Fete Home: If you could have any super power what would it be?
Bettina Prentice: The ability to find lost things. When I was a child it was because of things like misplaced toys or reading about buried treasure but now as a parent I would use it to bring lost children home.
Fete Home: Are you a good dancer? Please explain.
Bettina Prentice: If the music is just right my husband says I move like I am dancing on ice.