Fri | Jul 20, 2018

The Joy of hosting

Published:Sunday | December 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM
The beautiful space created by Aiesha Panton of pussbackfood for a private dinner hosted by Joy Spence.
This beautiful floral arrangement is accented by pieces of wood that bring in a rustic element.
This Christmas ornament is a subtle way to include the season but still modern and sophisticated.
A spray painted twig is the perfect rustic element that shows attention to details, placed on top of Birch bark mat under glass charger.
All the elements came together beautifully. Acrylic chair accented by calabash with lights.
When it comes to hosting Spence knows how to do it.
Spences signs a bottle of 12-Year-Old Appleton for each of her guests.
Cheers to a wonderful evening!
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After spending 25 years making some of the world's best rum, it makes sense that Joy Spence, the world's first female master blender, knows all about hosting a fabulous get-together.

As Christmas Day approaches, she has not let a fractured leg prevent her from opening her backyard to a very intimate group for an evening of food and rum pairing.

Enjoying premium Appleton Rum with a nice light meal should be the hallmark of the season. Gathered under a breadfruit tree, the group was ready to indulge.

Aeisha Panton of Pussbackfoot took charge of creating the space for what the evening was about - enjoying a luxury brand in an intimate setting. "They told me they wanted the space to be intimate and rustic. Appleton Estate is a luxury brand so we wanted to play up the idea of luxury, but more laid-back luxury, which I think perfectly represents the brand," said Panton.

She said luxury is all about attention to details. Each table setting included a birch bart under a glass charger, topped off with a twig that was spray-painted gold. A beautiful arrangement took Centre stage with the added rustic touch of wood and a few candles to give a calming glow. For the seating, instead of bamboo, she chose acrylic chairs and tied it all in together with some calabash draped over each chair. The entire space was finished off with pepper lighting in the breadfruit tree.

It was the perfect setting for the host and renowned chef Gariel Ferguson to take guests through a three-course meal that also showed off three expressions of Appleton Estate.

Shrimp mango paired with X-Ale - a nice, light cocktail - got things started. This was followed by the finger-licking wet sugar-glazed pork belly with charred scallions and roasted pumpkin puree that was paired with what turned out to be a favourite among guests - the Estate Brown Sugar Daiquiri. Next was the dessert trio of crispy rum and raisin bread pudding with salted caramel; banana brulee; and sorrel and chocolate torte.

The night's cocktails paired perfectly with the dishes and loosened things up for pleasant conversation and merriment.