Simple Sophistication, Effortless Entertaining

  1. Marie France Van Damme
  2. Photographs by Herbert Ypma
  • ISBN 9780500516393
  • 25.20 x 22.40 cm
  • Hardback
  • 224pp
  • 233 Illustrations, 124 in colour
  • First published 2012

Perfectly attuned to the realities of modern-day living, this elegant book is the only guide that you need to stylish and stress-free entertaining.


Entertaining should be a source of joy, not anxiety, especially in an age in which conspicuous luxury is no longer considered the height of sophistication.
Fusing understated European elegance with the dramatic Asian aesthetics of her Hong Kong home, Marie France Van Damme reveals the secrets of successful entertainment.

You don’t need to know how to cook – not even a little bit. You don’t need family silver, fancy china or an expensive venue. With just a little bit of effort and imagination – and a few very simple guidelines – even the most ordinary evening can become a memorable, magical occasion.

Chapters on Flowers, Candles, The Table, Food and Art – show how to create beautiful decorations, elegant food and exquisite ambience without unnecessary worry or expense. 

Each chapter finishes with actual events – a winter birthday party; a lavish formal celebration; even an unconventional Christmas dinner on a deserted Thai beach. An informal afternoon tea with family becomes an elegant, comforting ritual.

Each of these events has been beautifully photographed by Herbert Ypma, the bestselling author behind the Hip Hotels series.

Marie France Van Damme is a fashion designer whose collections are available across the world in stores such as Harrods, Lane Crawford, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. She is based in Hong Kong.
Herbert Ypma is a bestselling author and photographer whose groundbreaking Hip Hotels® series inspired an entirely new genre of travel books. His recent publications include a monograph on Christian Liaigre.
François Curiel, who contributes a Foreword, is President of Christie’s, Asia.