You can take the girl out of Britain, but you can’t take Britain out of the girl. Fashion aficionado and stylist Kate Foley may have been a New York resident for more than nine years now, but she still worships at the altar of the humble cuppa. ‘What I miss about England are the small things, like a trip to the pub or the normality of making tea. So I make time for tea everyday – I find it comforting, it’s my daily ritual.’ And when it came to celebrating the imminent birth of her first child with US fashion designer Max Osterweis, only a quaint and perfectly charming English tea party would do.
A regular fixture at fashion weeks, with an innate knack of putting together effortless, offbeat looks, Kate made sure her baby shower had plenty of chic touches and a guest list worthy of a fashion-show front row. There were Polaroid photoshoots and cute advice cards to gather words of wisdom for the first-time mother, and the great scone conundrum was debated. Kate is a firm believer that it should be cream first. ‘Because you tend to use more cream and just a bit of jam. Jam is always a topping,’ she says. That settles it.
Delicate finger sandwiches and pastries, and mismatched floral crockery, were lined up against a backdrop of spring flowers and pristine white table linens, all scented with a blend of Jo Malone London’s Lime Basil & Mandarin and Wood Sage & Sea Salt Home Candles. ‘The décor was really pretty, with the flowers and the tea sets, so I wanted to have a bit of contrast, hence my choice of Wood Sage & Sea Salt. Uplifting, bright and fresh.’
When it comes to party planning, Kate’s failsafe is to always add an element of fun and to relax. Playful over prim. Comfy seating, low tables and a light-hearted attitude. ‘You want to avoid making things feel too formal. I love bringing friends together and introducing them to someone new I know they will find inspiring.’ And when it comes to baby showers, scrap the ‘only girls allowed’ rule, it’s so passé. Kate welcomed Max’s involvement, saying ‘it’s our baby after all’.
When it comes to party planning,
Kate’s failsafe is to always add an element
of fun and to relax. Playful over prim.
This laid-back attitude also applies to her approach to motherhood. ‘Weirdly, we’re most excited about life changing drastically and having no control over it. We’re bringing someone into the world and we have no idea what their personality will be like or what’s going to happen. That’s exciting to share that with someone.’
But not everything should be left to chance. According to Kate, the best thing you can do when hosting is to be organised. ‘You don’t want to be pulling the party together when people are already there. It’s best to prep so you can be present and enjoy it.’ The same goes for beauty regimes and outfit choices. And Kate’s fragrant finishing touch? ‘Oud & Bergamot Cologne for winter. I like a heavier scent when it’s cold, and this one is cosy and warm – it feels like you can snuggle right into it. And Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne when it’s warm out.’ Well, what else for a tea devotee?