It was one of those balmy, summer evenings that Sydney does so well, and we felt right at home with Sophie Thé in the small courtyard outside The Bite Club House in Woollahra. Her hair pulled up loosely into a top bun and wearing a blood red pencil skirt, the petite interior stylist clearly has not lost sight of her French culture despite her 14 years in Sydney. A captive audience of select food and lifestyle media and bloggers (including yours truly) gathered in the small white-pebbled area to listen to her every heavily-accented word.
 Photographed by Dominic Loneragan. Please Credit Dominic Loneragan.
Sophie was hosting the night as part of her Magnum At Home Brand Ambassador duties and to fete the launch of the new Magnum cask wine range. Wine glasses in hand, we were led from the courtyard through the venue rooms Sophie had carefully decorated – kitchen, dining room, and finally, the lounge – all the while listening for her golden nuggets of styling advice. Use a sarong as a table cloth, position decorative pieces in the direction you’d like the eye to go, focus a kitchen table around a fruit bowl hero piece – we had no idea there was so much behind interior styling!

 

Photographed by Dominic Loneragan. Please Credit Dominic Loneragan.
As the tour wrapped up and through the wafting sweet smells of a burning candle, Sophie walked us back to the open-place kitchen and faced us with our own styling task. We were instructed to design a place-setting from a selection of funky plates, placemats, cutlery, and cloth napkins to be used at our sit-down dinner. Inspired by Sophie’s off-hand mention of living full-time on a boat (how incredibly Euro-chic!), we went with a nautical theme place-setting while others opted for elegant or mismatched themes. The small group gathered around the dining room table photographing our masterpieces before sitting down to tuck into the delicious dinner.

Dishes including snapper ceviche garnished with grapefruit, chili and lime, and an heirloom tomato and mint salad were scattered across the table amongst antique silver candle holders and two tiered trays draped with dangling green and purples grapes. Suffice to say, the table was a picturesque affair worthy of many an Instagram shot. As we dined, waiters circled the table at the ready to re-fill empty glasses with wine from one of the five Magnum cask options. Our favourite was a flavourful Sauvignon Blanc called Ta-Ku. Over dinner, Sophie discussed the benefit of cask wine explaining that once opened, the wine will last a significant amount of time longer than wine from an opened bottle. For the one-glass-a-night drinker (who are you kidding?) who savours the favour, Magnum cask wine is your answer.

 

Photographed by Dominic Loneragan. Please Credit Dominic Loneragan.
Every inch the gracious host, Sophie made an effort to chat to everyone. We left the dinner brimming with interior styling ideas clouded temporarily inside a haze of what we can only guess resulted from one too many wine tastings. Oh well, all in the name of the journalist game.

Photos by Dominic Loneragan.

 

About The Author

After visiting most of the major city hubs around the world while growing up, Sangeeta Kocharekar arrived in the furthest one from home (the good old US of A) six years ago - Sydney, Australia - and hasn't looked back since. She relies on her trusty weather vane to detect the next big fashion and beauty trend storms in the distance to hit. She also eats, drinks, and dances her way around town scoping out stories to report on so Sydney Social 101's loyal readers are in the know. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @sangeetatatiana.

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