Marlo Thomas may have written the book on keeping love alive in a marriage, but she makes time for her gal friends, too. She’s convinced that a tiny heart-shaped anything can turn even a Valentine’s Day non-believer into a fan. In celebration of her vivid new red line of tableware, part of her Marlo Thomas Collection, we asked Marlo how we could throw a sweeter “Palentine’s” or “Galentine’s” Day party. Here are her best tips.
1. Make It All Heart-Shaped
When asked her ideal way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with friends, Marlo’s mind goes straight to the heart: “I like to make everything I can heart-shaped, from little potato hors d’oeuvres to little mini sandwiches to cookies and cakes!” Serve them all on her signature square plates with her red-and-white napkins, of course.
2. Think Enticing and Small for Apps
Marlo likes her appetizers enticing and small. Her must-haves? Pigs in a blanket, coconut shrimp, and heart-shaped mini grilled cheese, plus crudité with colorful dips like guacamole, hummus and salsa using the three-dip condiment dish. (We particularly love her small square red-and-white appetizer plates for these little numbers!)
3. Mix Textures, Flavors and Colors for Your Cheeseboard
Her dream Valentine’s Day cheeseboard has a sensual mix of colors, flavors and textures. Marlo likes three different cheeses, always including a lovely goat cheese, plus “cold red grapes, a little bowl of mixed green olives, and then dried apricots and almonds.” You can go with her gorgeous cheese dome, but the bestselling rectangular tray she designed for us “allows you to put the cheese, charcuterie and crackers all on one board—it’s a hostess’ dream.”
4. Show Off Sweets on a Tiered Candy Dish
Tables can feel overstuffed pretty easily, so consider vertical displays, as well. We love this three-tiered candy dish, reminiscent of a fine French restaurant or English tearoom. She likes to use hers to display Valentine’s Day sweets in a new way. “Cookies on the bottom, chocolates in the middle, and heart-shaped candies on the top” is her standard approach.
5. Leave With Love
As you leave her Valentine’s Day party, Marlo is sending you off with affection. When we asked if she sent off guests with any words of advice, she says, “Like the James Taylor song says: ‘Tell the people you love YOU LOVE THEM!'”