Alex Head's 2017 Entertaining Trends

Alex Head of Social Pantry shows you how to entertain in style in 2017

Alex Head is a woman who has not only built the hugely successful catering company and trendy Café based in London’s chic Lavender Hill, Social Pantry, but much like us here at TOAST, she is a passionate foodie and host, on a mission to help take the fear out of entertaining by sharing some of her secrets of how to create wonderful events, effortlessly.

A successful chef and entrepreneur who’s career began at the tender age of 15, when she started a sandwich business from the back of Billy, her fondly named bicycle, Alex has had many years of experience opening and running restaurants across London, and now at just 29, has built a reputation as the go-to London catering company for events and the workplace.

“When starting Social Pantry, I was determined to never venture too far from my roots” says Alex, “In my opinion, food should always be shared, menus should be accessible, unassuming and fun and all entertaining should be as elegant as possible.”

With her fresh approach to producing fun, seasonal, interesting, and more importantly delicious food, Alex’s style of cooking is above all practical, and ideal for entertaining family and friends, so here she shares her entertaining trends for 2017, and highlights how you can translate them into your everyday events and parties this year.

Alex Head's 2017 Entertaining Trends 

The Social Pantry Founer shares her top tips on how to apply thisyear's hottest trends to your next gathering. 

Social Pantry Entertaining Trends


Translating Pantone’s Colour of the year into entertaining

With Pantone’s refreshing and revitalising colour of the year now firmly in our minds, ‘Greenery’ is everything.  “Greenery” is meant to represent refreshment and revitalisation. Think flourishing foliage to welcome fresh beginnings, fresh local and lovely details running throughout’.

Think about using accents of green in place settings with linens, glassware and table décor. Hanging leaves and botanicals for table centrepieces and green foliage draped across tables. 

To compliment the Greenery focus, neutral tones with a few pops of colour is the palette leading the crowd this year.

Greenery is actually considered a neutral tone and can easily accommodate a splash of colour. For example, you’d never claim that a pink shaded peony is a faux-par set against its green leaves because of Greenery’s inherently neutral traits. Green allows you space to play with your chosen pops of colour – we love the addition of hot pink.

Greenery Social Pantry Imagery


When thinking about your invitations, menu cards and other table stationery, incorporate the colour scheme with accents of greenery and pops of colour.

Choose a botanical print to theme you invites and set the scene from the word go.

You can also use fragrant herbs anchored with pegs to your menu cards – bring you guest’s scenes to life. Our friends at Worm floral designs recommend using a pressed flower or foliage attached to your place name”– a touch that will add texture and enhanced scent.

Invitations By Social Pantry

Bring the Outside In

We love bringing the outdoors in and this is definitely a trend that’s here to stay.

Expert floral designers and partners of Social PantryWorm London recommend adding a selection of plants, small stem vases of seasonal greens, statement vases and overhanging table displays to crearte style with your décor. Here are Katie and Terri's tips to bringing the outside in: 


Bring all of your houseplants into the room you will be dining in for the night. When gathered together they can be really impactful. If you have smaller plants such as succulents, these can be used to set the table.

Small stem vases and seasonal green springs

Keep an eye out for tiny interesting vases. When formed as an eclectic collection, they look very effective when seasonal green sprigs are added. These are easy to forage yourself. Things like Jasmine give beautiful flow while ferns give height and impact. Wild grasses also look beautiful and come in all different shapes and sizes. Nigella pods when in season add interesting textures. These little stem vases are great as they are easy to move around, especially if you are serving sharing dishes.

A statement vase

One vase of bright foliage can be effective in bringing the outdoors to life inside. If you have a garden just take some cuttings of whatever is seasonal. To help create a natural flow and structure, scrunch up a small ball of chicken wire and add this to your vase (ensure your vase is not transparent). This will create a frame inside the vase which will help you position your foliage in interesting and flowing shapes. Trim any leaves which may be below water level. Make sure not to make your arrangement too high if it is going to be placed in the middle of the table.

Overhanging table display

Sometimes keeping the table clear is more practical and effective. Hanging something over the table can work really well. A simple leafy olive branch can look beautiful if you have something to suspend it from. Another nice idea is to bunch together different herbs and foliage,

tie them with natural twine and hang them over the table as if drying.

Outside In Social Pantry 

The Menu

By Alex Head

Last but not least, The Menu. At the start of each year, there’s always an abundance of food trends that hit the headlines so here Alex has hand-picked a few that you can easily incorporate into a delicious dinner party menu and without having to spend hours trying to find the ingredients.


2017’s colour of the year, has a big thumbs up from us foodies. There are many an edible green ingredient that means it couldn’t be simpler to add a touch of Greenery to your dinner party menus.

Think a vibrant avocado hummus served with homemade flatbreads, crushed pistachios to top a chocolate brownie or fresh mint to create an after-dinner tea – the options are endless!


Charcoal is a fantastic detoxifier and it’s a talking point when added to any dish. Here’s a few of our favourites…

- Charcoal Sourdough – serve with an infused butter, our favourite right now is Marmite Butter!

- Blackout Juice – a shot served at the end of a meal to ease digestion

- Pimp up your pancakes this February – add charcoal to the mix and serve with a lemon curd… it’ll definitely be a Shrove Tuesday talking point!


Move over Kale, Cauliflower is the veggie to watch this year. This beauty is incredibly versatile

– serve whole as a “steak” for a vegetarian main dish, blitz it up and serve as an alternative to rice for those carb-free diners or roast it and pair with mint and pomegranate for a mighty-fine salad.

Creative Condiments

Think Beetroot Labneh, Black Sesame Tahini, Orange & Rose Petal Butter… it’s time to pimp up

your condiments this year. Get creative with your ingredients and serve with raw Broccoli or Baby Crudities. Dips are perfect to pre-make and have on hand to settle in hungry guests.

Retro Revival

Think 70s classics with a twist…we at Social Pantry have been singing sherry’s praises in 2016 which we’re carrying through to this year. If you aren’t confident enough to serve it up as a drink to your guests, try my sherry fudge recipe as an after dinner treat.

Purple Power

Purple foods are popping up just about everywhere – from purple carrots and cauliflower to acai and black rice, make a statement with having something purple on your plate. High in anti-oxidants, purple produce is considered not only delicious and healthy but also easy on the eye.

Entertaining Food Trends

For more information on Alex Head and Social Pantry you follow up on her daily musings with her blog, and also read our recent Spotlight Interview with Alex over on TheEdit. You can also get in touch to book your ext event with them via their profile in our Little Black Book

Worm London, is a florist and styling company run by Terri and Katie, combines their two favourite things: flowers and books to make people happy - find out more about what they do in our Little Black Book. 

*All imagery and conteny has been supplied by Social Pantry for this feature with guest comment  from Worm London. 

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