Vogue – In an age when every dinner party seems planned to picture-perfect perfection (thanks, Instagram), legendary hostess India Hicks has some refreshing advice. “Cheat. For god’s sake, cheat.” Hicks is the queen of ordering takeout and just arranging it on a platter, or taking friends up on their offer to bring something. “Just get people around the table—don’t worry about having to make everything just so,” she tells Vogue.

Her new book, An Entertaining Story, is out with Rizzoli this month. It’s a photographic ode to Hicks’s stylish soirees (held both in the English countryside and Harbour Island, Bahamas, where she co-runs the Briland Island Food Bank) part cookbook (she starts with a recipe for a banana daiquiri, because “let’s face it, drinks are most important”), and part a personal reflection on parties past. But mostly, it’s a great reminder that, when it comes to throwing any sort of affair, the key to a good time is guests and good food. And at the end of the day, that’s what will make it one to remember—not the likes or comments…

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