Unveiling the Secrets of Hosting Excellence: An Interview with Nicolas Fairford

Introducing Nicolas Fairford, the epitome of hosting excellence. In this interview, we uncover the secrets behind his unforgettable dinner parties and English afternoon teas. From his meticulous table settings to his mouthwatering culinary creations showcased on his YouTube Channel, Nicolas’s expertise will inspire you to elevate your own hosting skills.

Discover his latest venture into fragrance with the captivating “Botanica Fine” candle collection and get a glimpse of his future product launches. Get ready for an enlightening conversation with the master of hospitality, Nicolas Fairford.

As someone who began their professional journey as an interior designer and has now established their own lifestyle brand and YouTube channel, could you share more about your brand and channel?

I don’t really watch a lot of TV,  and noticed that there was a real lack of content around elegant, slow living. I decided that I would have to create this kind of content myself.  The response has been so positive – people seem to truly appreciate the relaxed, soothing style that I try to create. After the stress we’ve all been put under, I think it was much needed. 

With regards to creating my own branded homeware, I was getting a lot of questions from viewers asking about items in my home that appeared in my videos. Most of the decor in my house is years old and took me a long time to accumulate – meaning that I couldn’t really give a useful answer as to where to find the particular thing they were looking for. I realized that I should probably start my own lifestyle brand selling items that I would absolutely love. I’ve always been passionate about home fragrance and realized that this was a wonderful way for others to have a little piece of the things I enjoy in their homes, so I started with my first fine fragrance in late 2021.

As someone who is known for hosting elegant dinner parties and English afternoon teas, what is your initial step when it comes to planning a party? Additionally, how do you approach setting the table for these occasions?

The first thing I always think about is what I’m going to serve. A party is never fun if the host is stressed, so I really try to come up with a menu that is delicious, but also very simple to prepare and cook. Next I like to think about my table setting. I begin by choosing some kind of theme. For a spring party I want to keep things light and airy, with lots of spring bulbs and the use of green in my dinnerware and serve ware. I always like to add an element of surprise to my tables so that my guests can see I’ve made the effort, and to provide a conversation starter. I think if the host is relaxed, the food is good, and the drinks are flowing, a party will always be a success. 

When it comes to your YouTube Channel, you are often seen in the kitchen, delighting viewers with your baking skills, whether it’s whipping up traditional English scones, creating an Earl Grey tea cake, or sharing other vegan recipes. In your opinion, what is one dish that you believe is indispensable for everyone to learn how to make?

I think everyone should have a signature dish that they cook perfectly. It doesn’t matter what it is, or whether you are a good or bad cook. Practice as much as possible and have at least one dish that you can serve if you ever need to host. It is probably a good idea to have a meat-based dish and also something vegetarian.  My go-to is lemon chicken. It is super simple to cook but always loved by everyone I serve it to. I think the best things are always simple!

How Did the Creation of “Botanica Fine” Come About and What Other Exciting Product Launches Can We Anticipate from You in the Future?

As I mentioned previously, home fragrance has been a passion of mine for years. I love how scent can really bring a home to life and evoke so many wonderful memories. It doesn’t matter how beautifully your home is decorated, if it smells bad, all is lost. My social media career has always been built on sharing. I wanted to create a product that everyone would be able to have in their home, at a reasonable price that would bring an array of the things I love into their lives. I realized that the perfect way to do this was through a scented candle. 

Some of my most treasured times have been enjoying the English gardens of the Cotswolds, and I knew that my first fragrance must be based on this. I worked with a Cotswold-based perfumer to recreate the scent of an English garden in candle form. The response has been wonderful and it’s so exciting for me to receive emails and messages from people all over the world saying how much they enjoy the candle.

What’s the Most Memorable Hostess Gift You’ve Given or Received?

I think the best gifts are those that are truly thoughtful and personal. When I’m gift giving I try to really think about that particular person and what makes them tick. One of the best gifts I’ve given recently is a portrait of a friend’s beloved Husky by British illustrator Emily Duffin. This friend in particular studied at St Andrews University and had fond memories of living there. I asked Emily to create a portrait of the Husky in front of one of the buildings at the university. It turned out so well and he really loved it.