Dinner Party Dialogue: What to Talk About This January
We're kicking off 2016 with a new series: Dinner Party Dialogue. Given how much we love to entertain, we thought it only natural to extend our entertaining guides beyond menus and décor and into conversation. Each month we'll be rounding up the It topics in design, business, travel, food, and parenting and presenting them to you in bite-size stories that you can easily use to ignite a dinner conversation at your next gathering. Scroll through for the inaugural list of deserving conversation topics for your next dinner party.
Any contemporary design lover worth his or her weight in white marble countertops needs to know about Mar Adentro, a new resort property in Los Cabos, Mexico. Designed by celebrated Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragonés, the tech-savvy hotel is all about personalization. “Each of the 205 rooms and 39 villas comes equipped with a special tablet that enables guests to hyper-customize every detail of their stay, from the lighting concept to the temperature,” reports Condé Nast Traveler. The whitewashed rooms are a lesson in fuss-free minimalism, and the bright blue sky and water offer the perfect complementary color palette. With their linear structure and rainbow of daylight, the rooms look like a lifestyle version of a Diebenkorn painting. Talk about planning a group trip to this Baja California getaway with your dinner guests. When wanderlust and design expertise are involved, you’re in for a killer conversation combo. Also, check out the resort’s Instagram feed if you need any more convincing to book a trip.
Question to ask the table: What is the most beautifully designed hotel you’ve ever been to?
Baby names, good, bad, and bizarre, are the topic du jour with cool moms around the globe. Least favorite girl names in the U.S. include Nevaeh, Destiny, and Madison while worst boy names include Jayden, Brayden, and Aiden. We’re currently loving European baby names like Lilou for a girl or Giotto for a boy. And then there is also the celebrity child name trend of going for a completely different sort of name. Take Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen, who named their baby girl Briar Rose after Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, or actress Alicia Silverstone and her rock musician husband, Christopher Jarecki, who named their son Bear because “it would be really cute for a boy and very sexy for a man.”
Question to ask the table: What’s your favorite and least favorite baby name of all time?
The Forbes 30 Under 30 lists came out last week, and the women and men who made the ranks are more inspiring than ever. Dinner party dialogue is the perfect setting to discuss who made the cut and who should have made it. We’re especially proud of Sakara Life founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise for taking their meal order delivery system to the next level. With its nationwide snack boutique and an expanded roster of cities, everyone can try a taste of healthy living Sakara style. We love how these business leaders were inspired by their past corporate jobs and wanted to create something that could benefit all working professionals.
Question to ask the table: If you could create a meal delivery service tomorrow, what would it deliver, and what would you name it?
We love getting lessons from seasoned CEOs, especially ones we can immediately incorporate into our daily lives. Open your dinner discussion to the topic of what successful women do at the start of each year. Our co-CEO Katherine Power lives by her New Year’s resolutions: “At the start of each year, I write my goals down on note paper, big and small. The key is to check in with your list 1x per week. What are you starting today? What do you want to make happen this year? You have 361 days left, make each one count. Today could be the start of something great,” Power wrote in a recent Instagram post. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi discusses what she hopes to see this year with the Harvard Business Review. “I’m still a bit of a rebel, always saying that we cannot sit still. Every morning you’ve got to wake up with a healthy fear that the world is changing, and with a conviction that, to win, you have to change faster and be more agile than anyone else.” Talk about your beginning-of-the-year rituals and open the discussion up to your table mates. What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind this year?
Question to ask the table: What’s your top resolution for 2016, and how are you planning on making it happen?
January is the month for detoxing, but what self-respecting foodie gives up food for liquid sustenance? We want this month to be all about testing clean recipes that help your body flush out toxins without eliminating chewing from your repertoire. Ask the foodie at the table about great, healthy dishes that include superfoods like garlic, ginger, or turmeric, without sacrificing flavor. We’re really loving the winter soup trend. Making soups is a great way to get all of your vegetables into a delicious and belly-warming dinner.
Question to ask the table: What’s the weirdest cleanse or detox you’ve ever tried?
The ultimate trip to fantasize about in January is a spa trip. Start a conversation with travel-loving dinner guests by introducing The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu. Situated in the Malibu mountains, this stunning retreat focuses on fitness, weight loss, and detoxing from the digital devices and indulgent treats of everyday life. Check in for four days of hiking, swimming, meditative yoga, and exquisite views. The rustic-chic design of this laid-back luxury spa is everything you could hope for in spa excellence. Engage your dinner comrades with a discussion about the best spas in the world or how to create a relaxing detox situation at home.
Question to ask the table: What is the most beautiful spa you’ve ever visited? What’s on your spa bucket list?
It’s the beginning of the year, but chances are you and your dinner guests are already firing on all cylinders again, both at work and at home. For those guests who are inspired by productivity hacks and efficiency breakthroughs, you need to have a Tim Ferris–approved topic on board. This month, the topic of the moment is how to prevent burnout. A recent study proved that it’s absolutely critical to step away from your regular routine and take a time-out for your own mental and physical health in order to prevent total burnout. In order to prevent burnout in the long run, you need to know your stressors and have a plan for how to deal with them. Get the dinner party dialogue going by asking everyone to talk about how they deal with their biggest stressors.
Question to ask the table: What are your stressors, and how do you prevent them from making you burn out?
What do you want to see in our next Dinner Party Dialogue? Share any suggestions for the next installment of this series in the comments.