Viva l'Italia!

TOAST’s pick of the best ways to entertain in true Italian style!

Delicious food, fine wine and year round sunshine – Italy has got it going on. Combine that with their sense of style, famous hospitality and gregarious nature – the Italians are top of the league when it comes to entertaining. Here TOAST picks some of best ways to add some Italian flair to your next do.

It’s no secret that the Italians love to spend time together; sharing food, a bottle of wine and putting the world to rights over a long meal. In this digital age where everyone seems too busy to stop, it’s more important then ever to make the time to actually sit down and break bread with friends and family, so this week on TOAST we’ve been looking at ways of how to entertain in true Italian style!

In our recent Spotlight with Nife is Life director Marco Vlassopulo we learnt about this important part of Italian culture, and the difference that using authentic (and delicious) Italian produce and ingredients can make when entertaining guests at home. Whether it’s a spread of delicious antipasti to pick at, a piping hot lasagne for the table to share or a chilled bottle of Prosecco to sip and an olive to nibble on, the Italian approach to entertaining is guaranteed to delight your guests, and that’s just the food.

Thanks to the Italian’s wonderful sense of style there are plenty of ways to add just a touch of their famous flair to your next do; here are TOAST's Pick of The Best. Buenisimo!



Based in Northamptonshire, Italian catering company Delizioso has built its reputation on providing fresh, interesting and delicious Italian food for all occasions and events of any size. Founding partners Danilo Trozzi and Alison Atherton both have Italian roots and were trained and worked in restaurants in Italy – so you can expect top quality, authentic Italian food when they are in the kitchen, whether it’s fresh langoustine ravioli for an intimate dinner party, or salami and pea risotto to feed hundreds at a bigger bash. 


Deliziosocaterers see more about them on their profile page in our Little Black Book.


What could be more Italian and quite frankly more stylish than a vintage Vespa? Devon-based Virginia’s Vintage Hire have two beautifully restored classic Vespa sprints available, one in oh-so-chic cream and the other shiny black, and you can leave your helmet at home as they are both designed to provide the ultimate decoration, and not to be ridden. Hire one or hire both for a truly stylish and fun prop, and a seriously impressive Italian focal point at your next event.


For more information or to book their Vintage Vespas, take a look at Virginia's Vintage Hire in our Little Black Book


Premium online delicatessen Nife is Life stock over 1500 authentic Italian products and ingredients and deliver to doors across the UK, enabling you to cook up the Italian meal of your dreams, whether it’s a simple bowl of pasta or a four course feast. For a fuss free but still seriously tasty Italian offering, then why not serve up a spread of fresh antipasti? Choose from Nife is Life’s selection of delicious Italian cheeses, freshly sliced hams and salamis, olives, patés, breadsticks and more. There’s also a selection of traditional Italian ready meals and fine wines to choose from too. Delizioso!

Nife Is Life Board

Take a look at Nife Is Life in our Little Black Book


If you want someone to pull together your Antipasti board for you, we recommend Cin Cin, a charming, vintage 1972 Fiat mobile catering van serving refreshing prosecco and authentic antipasti, the Italian way.  Their seasonal menu is focused on flavoursome Italian cured meats and cheeses, as well as delicious olives and Italian cakes and sweets, selected from trusted independent suppliers to provide the perfect menu for an elegant way event.


Take a look at Cin Cin in our Little Black Book for more information. 


Once you’ve got all your beautiful antipasti ready to go you’re going to need some authentic serveware to present it beautifully on. Something Hired specialise in beautiful things for special occasions; their gorgeous wooden serving planks are perfect for presenting antipasti on, or a tasty Italian cheeseboard, and they can be hired in single units so you can order as many or as few as you need. Add a few simple ingredients such as sliced mozzarella, parma ham, and some sun dried tomatoes and you instantly have something that could have been flown straight from a Tuscan trattoria!

Something Hired

Something Hired's collection of treasures can be hired with no minimumn hire charge, find out more from them here.


Traditional Italian meatballs are not only super tasty but they also make for perfect party food, and the Belpassi Brothers have worked tirelessly at perfecting their meatball recipe over the last 3 years. Having started on the street food scene they now run their very own restaurant in Southwest London, but they still find time to cruise around the country in Bella – their super stylish 1967 Fiat Furgone – dishing up their delicious Italian fare at parties and events almost anywhere. They offer 5 different types of meatball (including a veggie option) served on tasty bases like rigatoni, chilli greens and polenta, and topped with a selection of delicious, authentic sauces.

Belpassi Bros

For more information or to book Bella, take a look at their listing in our LBB


For a beautifully understated Italian touch then why not dress your table using luxurious Italian linens from The Linen Works. Their range of pre-washed Italian Stripe Linen was inspired by the natural colours of the rolling hills of Tuscany and creates an incredibly stylish setting for friends and family to gather. The traditional stripes bring an element of rustic charm, while the timelessly chic soft, washed linen makes it the perfect environment to enjoy a relaxed supper and a glass of Chianti, naturally. The Italian Stripe range features tablecloths, napkins, runners, tea towels and cushions so you can use as much or as little as you like.

Linen Works Table

Napkins start at £16 each, see more about The Linen Works here


This gorgeous little vehicle is in fact a 3-wheeled 1950’s Piaggio Ape that has been beautifully transformed into a unique little mobile bar, adorned with the characteristic Italian flag colours and a few classic sayings. It’s also packed full with Italian tipples too; traditional Italian Prosecco, Peroni beer and Aperol Spritz are all available on tap and chilled to perfection. Plus the Ape’s compact size means it can fit into most event spaces making it perfect for parties of any size – Italian style. For added Italian tastiness The Ape can also dish up freshly cooked pizza too!

Ape Piaggio

To book the Ape Piaggio, take a look at their profile in our Little Black Book.    


Nothing creates an authentic Italian atmosphere quite like the sound of a beautiful aria performed live – so why not hire an opera singer to serenade your guests in seriously impressive Italian style? Alexandra Lowe is an award-winning soprano from Lancashire; she has appeared on the stage many times but is also available to sing at events of all sizes. Her ‘Opera Night’ package includes various popular operatic arias, and for added wow factor you can hire additional singers like a tenor or baritone too, so they can perform a variety of famous duets as well. You can see the super talented Alexandra performing Come Scoglio from the Italian opera Cosi Fan Tutte here

Alexandra Lowe

To book Alexandra Lowe, get her contact details and see her profile here.   


No, we are not talking about Cornettos here. If you want a truly authentic and totally delicious Italian sweet treat for your guests then it has to be gelato. Based on the Berkshire/Oxfordshire border, GelArto is a small artisan gelato company run by Peter and Rita whose passion for ice cream originates from travels and long childhood holidays in Italy. Their ice cream contains less than half the amount of sugar as the usual brands and no nasty additives, whilst all of their flavours have been carefully developed using only the best quality natural ingredients such as hazelnut from Piedmont and pistachio from Sicily. They can serve up their tasty Italian ice cream goodness from their bright blue van almost anywhere.

GelartoGet in touch with GelArto to plan your next events ice cream fun via their page here.  




For more inspiration on how to entertain in style, take a look at TheEdit, and find a wealth of vendors and suppliers in our Little Black Book

Don’t forget to tag @ToastLifeUK in all your Italian-inspired entertaining – we would love to see your photos!


- Explore the vendors featured in this article -

Search our Little BLACK BOOK for hand-picked experts & suppliers