Discover the thoughtful touches that make guests feel at home with hosting tips from Martina Mondadori. From simple yet thoughtful gestures to her signature family recipes - including a tantalizing chocolate cake and an easy yet impressive pasta dish - Martina shares time-tested secrets for connection around the table.





My Favorite recipes


It’s important to always have a simple but delicious desert recipe up your sleeve, no good meal is complete without one. My go-to is a flourless chocolate cake which I serve with whipped cream and coffee. We’ve been serving this cake in my house for as long as i can remember and it’s always a crowd pleaser! Find the recipe here

For a casual lunch, when there isn’t time to cook an elaborate meal, it’s important to be able to throw together something simple yet delicious. This fresh and tasty pasta with rucola and toasted almonds only requires a few organic ingredients and is sure to impress. Find the recipe here


How I do my flowers


Nothing makes a house feel inviting like beautiful fresh flowers. You don’t have to go to an expensive florist or buy a bouquet to do this, I like to simply pass by the flower stand and buy a few bunches of tulips or whatever is in season, and then place them in bud vases or small carafes, with just one or two stems in each. I love this look as it is unfussy and elegant.  


Always use a bedside carafe


Waking up in the night when staying with someone and needing a glass of water, then having to awkwardly make your way though the house looking for one, can be an unpleasant experience. To avoid this I always make sure to leave a full bedside carafe and glass set by the bed of my guests - I use one myself and it is part of my routine. I love elegant hand-painted Murano Carafes with floral patterns and a matching glass.  


Serve morning coffee in the room


If you have a guest who you would like to make feel especially at home, perhaphs a friend who's had a long journey, you can pamper them by serving their morning coffee in their room. If their room has a balcony or outdoor space this is a bonus. I like to use a hand tray table for the coffee set up, as it can be placed anywhere in the room and the tray can be lifted onto the bed if you wish. 



Set the ambience in the guest bathroom


If you are hosting a dinner or a party, it is important to make sure that your carefully crafted ambience isn’t interrupted when a guest enters the bathroom. Make sure the lights are on, and set to a dim setting if possible. I like to light a scented candle and make sure there are freshly cut flowers by the sink. Embroidered hand towels (always well ironed) also make the space feel complete. 



Always have a well appointed bar


When guests arrive to your house for dinner, it’s important to set the mood and make sure they are comfortable. Having a well stocked bar, ready with ice, the correct glasses and aperitivo snacks can make your life much easier. I always like to have pistachio nuts, salted almonds, and olives at my bar, presented in speckled ceramic bowls alongside embroidered cocktail napkins. I also like to have elderflower cordial at my bar as an alternative to a cocktail. 




Use a Guest Book


A guest book is the perfect way to chronicle the friends and family who come through your door, and it is a fun thing to reminisce with later on. I always encourage everyone to sign mine, and love it when people add little anecdotes or drawings on their page. 



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