Food / Wellbeing

How to host the perfect garden party with Kate Fowler

kate fowler cloudy bay

In partnership with Cloudy Bay


Asparagus is in season. Everywhere flowers are rearing their pretty heads. The weather is dancing that fine line between balmy and still a little fresh. As for us? We're opening bottles of Cloudy Bay to celebrate. All around the elements are conspiring to present us with the perfect conditions for a garden party. And who are we to deny them?

It's a sentiment shared by Kate Fowler, who assembled a bunch of her nearest and dearest in her backyard for an afternoon of grazing and fizzy conversation. Below, Fowler reminisces on that sunny afternoon, sharing her hosting tips and tricks.

kate fowler cloudy bay

On the location...

In the comfort of your own home. "We generally gather by the pool after a meal, the last patch of sun is there so we naturally drift across," Fowler says. "And the trampoline tends to become a focus whenever kids are involved!"

On going with the flow...

Besides eating and dipping in and out of conversation, is there anything left to do but enjoy yourself? Kate Fowler tells us the key to dialling up the relaxation comes in a bottle from Marlborough, New Zealand.

"I always have a bit of Cloudy Bay on hand – extra cold. Sparkling is great on arrival. The Sauvignon Blanc is delicious and crisp, not a variety I usually drink but this one I really love."

kate fowler cloudy bay

On the menu...

To save yourself dissolving into a ball of stress, Fowler finds that when it comes to the menu the key is "to get the leg work done ahead of time so you can enjoy everyone on the day," she explains.

"I often make a variation on a farro salad with herbs, nuts, rocket or cabbage, some sort of cheese, perhaps some mushrooms for umami and pomegranate. Or there is a celery, green capsicum, lemon, and caper salad I love."

The offering always features "something with crunch and texture that will hold well" and complement the Cloudy Bay 2022 Sauvignon Blanc. Also, "Davie is great on the hibachi grill so he delivers on the theatre side of things," Fowler tells RUSSH.

kate fowler cloudy bay

On what to bring...

As a guest, it always feels sacrilege to arrive empty handed. But how to strike the right balance between a thoughtful gesture, that's generous without going overboard? We're taking our cues from Fowler. "We often bring a homemade focaccia. Davie’s expertise – I can’t claim credit for that! Or if on sweets, we pick up some Mapo gelato – a crowd pleaser. A bottle of Cloudy Bay never goes astray either!"

On the playlist...

To set the mood, music is a must. Although as Fowler puts it, the approach should be flexible and fluid. Personally, she follows "no set formula really, it changes often. "

"Whilst eating I would keep it in the background and gradually raise the tempo from there. Blood Orange would generally feature. I am loving Francis Bebey, Yussef Dayes and Everything But the Girl at the moment. Moodymann. Nicolas Jaar."

kate fowler cloudy bay

On what to wear...

Keep it casual, says Fowler. "My approach to dressing is pretty fluid, I’m not tied to a particular look and don’t plan ahead generally – it all depends on the weather and my mood on the day. At home, it’s about comfort."

Celebrate spring with a bottle of Cloudy Bay's Sauvignon Blanc 2022.

Thinking about hosting a garden party of your own? Here are our favourite tablescaping brands to turn to.

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