I’ve Been a DJ for 15 Years—Here’s My Go-To Playlist for Terrace Dinner Parties
Plus Amrit Tietz’s hack for fresh flowers.
Published Aug 26, 2023 1:15 AM
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DJ and podcaster Amrit Tietz is—well, was—no stranger to having a group of friends over on her multilevel terrace. When she lived in L.A. earlier this summer, she’d invite her nearest and dearest over at 4 p.m. (she can explain), fire up the grill, and blast her favorite playlist. Here’s how she throws a successful bash every time.
How I make a solid playlist: Playlists are subjective, but the most important thing is they should have the songs you love. If I’m having people over, I’m not playing to a crowd, so it’ll be whatever it is I’m into at the moment and in the direction of the mood I’m trying to set. My playlists always feature a balance of new faves (a great chance to introduce your friends to music you love), a few nostalgic classics that everyone will recognize and enjoy, and then a mix of current tracks. It does the trick every time.
One big table—or lots of spread-out seating zones? I do love a long table moment, but I’m also into the social aspect of little nooks because you get to rotate and converse with the crowd. It makes more of a fun, partyish dynamic.
My fresh flowers hack: I’m into more natural table settings, even big clippings from the garden on the table itself. Mini potted plants give it more of a natural feel versus manicured.
Where my dog, Soy, goes during parties: She’s always included, but she does love cheese a little too much. I’ve seen her swipe entire blocks of cheese off a cheese board—demonic!—so we always have to keep a watchful eye.
My take on serving premade food: I think it’s always good to have a mix of both. There’s no shame in my game; I am a full-time working mum! I do always have homemade touches, even if it’s something as simple as dips or sides. We love to grill, which has little prep time and you can cook as you entertain. I also like to do a big tablescape that’s a mix of seasonal fruit, cheese, honeycomb (I pick it up at the farmers’ market—it’s game changing), olives, etc. I buy a big baguette, so the actual prep is low-key, but it’s all freshly prepared and homey. Fresh herbs from the garden is a nice touch, too.
My mocktail theory: We don’t beverage discriminate, so you’re getting a gorgeous glass whatever you’re drinking. I like the idea of having an afternoon or early-evening cocktail, but I don’t love the idea of consuming a real drink as often. My husband, Jon, is sober, and I drink on occasion, but we do enjoy the tradition of cocktail hour, so even if it’s a Ghia or kombucha in a beautiful vintage glass—why not?
The ideal time for a party to start: I love a sunset moment, so in the summer I’ll tell friends between 4 and 5 p.m., and they’ll show up at 5:30.
My cue to get everyone to clear out: We have a 6-month-old, so that’s our never-fail excuse for the next few years, but I’ll also use music to orchestrate the shift to wind down, usually jazz with the volume low. Friends are usually pretty good at reading the room.