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Bradshaws Blog

Appetite for Words | Author Spotlight - Laura Calder

The Inviting Life | Laura Calder      

Award wining television host, writer and all around expert on all things hosting, Laura Calder is coming to Stratford and will debut her brand new book The Inviting Life. Bradshaws is excited to sponsor the exclusive book launch and literary lunch with Laura Calder at Revival House on Sunday Oct 29th. Grab a friend and a couple of tickets and receive a copy of The Inviting Life before it hits books stands later this fall. Laura will discuss all things hosting, the inspiration behind the book and the importance of creating an inviting life, and you'll leave with a special gift from Bradshaws and Stratford Blooms!

Laura Calder Books

Laura was born and raised in rural eastern Canada. She moved to France to study culinary arts but continued her studies in other areas. Laura has undergraduate degrees in liberal arts and linguistics, and a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics. Laura is perhaps most commonly know for her James Beard Award-winning television series, French Food at Home on The Food Network. An accomplished writer, Laura has seen much success from her novels French Food at Home and French Taste, the latter of which was awarded gold at the Canadian Culinary Cookbook Awards in 2010.

One of Laura’s greatest passions is to host dinner parties for people who are special to her and her husband. Laura says; ‘It's an honour to invite people into our private spaces. One of the reasons we do it is to show people we trust them and to reveal to them more of who we are.’

Porcelain dinnerware, copper cutlery and Russian linen tablecloths | at Bradshaws

We asked Laura for some insight into how she prepares for company coming for dinner...

‘It’s actually no different from any other night of the week. I always make a full dinner and I always set the table nicely. I think it’s very important to dine every day, not just eat. So, china, silver, linens, candles… it’s all in constant use in my world. Oh, and I’m big on fairy lights these days, too. I love the colourful ones from La Case de Cousin Paul.’

Klippan Wool Throw, candles, glassware | at Bradshaws

B: How do you create an inviting home of warmth and coziness during these fall months?

‘For me, cozy comes from having a certain amount of softness and texture. When a place has too many hard surfaces and sharp edges, I can never relax. In fact, it can be depressing. I probably shouldn’t say this, but the whole notion of “hygge” strikes me as odd because I find Scandinavian decor the opposite of cozy: stark. For me, the English country house has cozy down pat.’

B: What are some of your go-to cocktails to serve at dinner parties?

‘I couldn’t mix a cocktail if my life depended on it, so that’s my co-host’s job. My favourite pre-dinner drink is a glass of Champagne, but sometimes I join my husband, Peter, in “a psychological” (i.e. the drink before anyone arrives so you can take your edge off), a Corpse Reviver #2 or a Papa Doble does the trick.’

From hosting dinner parties, to doing the laundry, in Laura’s new book she discusses the importance of making the ‘ordinary’ something lovely.

B: What’s something “ordinary” that can be turned into something lovely?

‘With decor, I’d say it’s things like soap dishes and garbage baskets…the sort of utilitarian objects around us that we interact with constantly. These shouldn’t be boring, they should delight us every time we come into contact with them. It’s important to select these things with care, to try to make them special, not just grab the cheapest plastic thing from a hardware store.

Linens, Candles, Candlesticks | at Bradshaws

And when you’re talking about experience in daily life, I think turning ordinary into lovely is about the nice exchange you initiate with the cashier at the grocery store, or about taking the scenic route rather than the fastest one to work, or about the spontaneous gift you offer a friend for no reason apart from because. It’s about staying in tune with your surroundings (including with the people in your surroundings) and making simple little adjustments that raise the bar.’

Follow Laura Calder on Instagram!

Revival House | 70 Brunswick Street, Stratford, ON
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Doors open 10:30am, Event starts 11am
Exclusive Book Launch and Literary Lunch with Laura Calder line-up includes Laura Calder .
Advance online tickets will be available on Ticketscene until Sunday, October 29, 2017 10:29 AM unless the event sells out earlier. 

Check out out other Appetite for Words Author Spotlights on our blog...

FEAST - Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Roadtrip- Lindsay Anderson and Dana Vanveller

EATEN BACK TO LIFE - Jonah Campbell

FIVE ROSES - Alice Zorn

NEIL FLAMBÉ SERIES - Kevin Sylvester