In Lulu Powers’ world, there is a sneeky for every occasion. On lazy afternoons lounging around her 1927 West Hollywood bungalow, the entertainer extraordinaire and celebrity chef mixes a raspberry-pineapple-lemonade sneeky. To celebrate the Red Sox opening day win, the East Coast native makes a gin and St. Germain concoction with a slice of blood orange. Her email signature even dares: “Have a sneeky!” After spending a few hours with Powers in her free-spirited domain, a sneeky suddenly seems like a grand idea—even at 11 in the morning. Her motto? “It’s never too early.”
That’s not to say Powers is solely focused on alcoholic pursuits. She is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after lifestyle talents, frequently lauded for her hassle-free, fun-loving approach to entertaining—from food and flowers to tabletop. In honor of the warmer weather, we asked her to share a few pointers that will promise a smashing summer soirée.
Lulu Powers Bring the inside out. I love using indoor furniture outside. You can incorporate anything you have into a table scape. Mix gold and copper with bright colors, and always setting up a great bar is a must.
Previews Inside Out We’re also moving into the season of the obligatory “white party.” Do you have any advice for spicing up this summer tradition?
Lulu Powers White parties are a blank canvas. You can always put your own twist on them. I’m not one for following rules. I always wear something white with a bold pop of color or metallic.
Previews Inside Out You’re hosting a summer beach soirée. What are you serving? What does your tabletop look like? What music is playing?
Lulu Powers I use tablecloths as blankets, poofs as chairs and a picnic basket as a bar. I serve these one-bite snacks. Putting out cutting boards with cheeses and rosé wine. Grabbing a bag of my favorite chips, rolling it down and creating a bowl in itself—easy cleanup.
Previews Inside Out What are some of the most important details that even the most seasoned and sophisticated of hosts often overlook?
Lulu Powers Welcoming their guests at the door, and introducing people to each other.
Previews Inside Out The Fourth of July marks our next occasion for entertaining. How would you give the holiday bash a sophisticated twist this year?
Lulu Powers I love bringing metallic in. Coordinating everything: wrapping sandwiches in deli paper with blue twine, using great red and blue glasses, red tulips with American flags in them. I just used these great balloons with tassels for a red, white and blue-themed bash. Paper Fox LA has amazing tassel garlands.
Previews Inside Out If you could throw any out-of-the-box party this summer and money was no object, what would be your theme?
Lulu Powers A dance party on the beach. I would have Gypset Events build the stage and lighting. A big, long copper bar with a great mixologist. Serving hot dogs, lobster rolls, an oyster bar. I love stations. A s’mores station is a must-have.
Previews Inside Out What’s the secret to entertaining, in your eyes?
Lulu Powers Be welcoming and gracious. Make sure your guests all have drinks and are taken care of. Making sure you have drink and food readily available when your guests enter is key.
Previews Inside Out Do you have a new summer cocktail you can share with us?
Lulu Powers The Garden Sneeky. Shake 2 oz. of gin with two basil leaves, a splash of St. Germain, and a quarter lemon squeezed over ice. Strain over a big ice cube and add a splash of tonic.
Lulu Powers is the author of “Lulu Powers: Food to Flowers” (2010, William Morrow). More information can be found on her website, lulupowers.com.