Insider tips to hosting the perfect celebration

Originating from the late 19th century, when Victorian women would throw tea parties for those expecting, baby showers have become a hugely popular pre-baby tradition, ranging from all-out bash to an intimate celebration. Throwing a party for an expectant friend can be a huge undertaking, but also the ultimate privilege. We chat to three stylish women about hosting a chic baby shower and their expert tips for making it a day to remember.


Tatler Magazine Fashion Director Sophie Goodwin on planning an elegant but relaxed party for photographer and model Candice Lake in London.

Was the party a surprise or did Candice know and was in on the planning?

Candice knew we were planning a party but the rest was a total surprise.

Was there a theme to the shower?

Candice is such a free spirit, so even though she found out she was having a girl, we avoided anything predictable and too much pink. The colour scheme was aqua and silver with splashes of lilac. I ordered a lot of stuff from My Little Day; they do divine cloud print cups, plates, straws.

What did you serve to eat and drink?

Open sandwiches on sourdough (eggs and watercress, cream cheese and cucumber) and smoked salmon blinis. Candice is a vegetarian so we stayed away from meat. Lily Vanilli made a two-tiered carrot and beetroot cake with an insane buttercream icing and fig, tulips and blackberries dotted all over. This matched our flowers from By Appointment Only Design (roses, sweet peas and what I call posh carnations) all arranged in huge cracked-glass silver shallow vases. We had double-chocolate brownies, banana bread and lemon cake too. Then fizz, pink lemonade and earl grey tea to drink.

Did you play any games and if so which?

No, we were all chatting far too much!

Was there a gift registry or a suggested present idea?

No, Candice really didn’t expect any gifts. However, everyone ignored her and turned up with bags from Bonpoint, Olivier Baby and The Little White Company.

What was the highlight?

Jo Malone party bags for all the guests – and cake parcels to take away.

What makes Candice special?

She’s kind, thoughtful and refreshingly honest. She brings out the best in everyone she meets and has a knack of making them feel special. She’ll never take anything or anyone for granted.


Prada PR Maria Means Cote on her glamorous baby shower in New York, thrown by her two closest friends.

How many months pregnant were you at your baby shower?

Seven months.

Did you have help with the planning?

I must give full credit to my wonderful friends Blair Hardy and Mariella Krowka (my son’s two Godmothers), who organised every detail – in the States, it’s customary for friends or family to host showers in your honour, rather than throwing your own. They did an exquisite job with all of the planning, from the invitations to the flowers and the gorgeous cake stands – we had afternoon tea in the beautiful salon of Ladurée in Soho, New York, which overlooks their garden.

Was there a theme to the shower?

My husband’s origins are French, and his surname, with the proper accents, is spelled Côté… so my hostesses came up with the adorable moniker Bébé Côté for the invitations, which then became the official ‘hashtag’ to my bump!  I wouldn’t say there was a particular theme beyond that, but since we didn’t know the gender of my baby, the girls were very careful to keep everything neutral – and they used the gender surprise for a fun guessing game. Each girl had to fill in a card with their prediction of gender and birth date, which I opened with each of their gifts. The tally was overwhelmingly BOY-heavy… and I guess my friends are quite intuitive, as they were correct!

What did you eat and drink?

Assorted teas, Laurent Perrier champagne, and far too many Ladurée cakes and macarons!

Was there a gift registry or a suggested present idea?

Shower registries are quite common in the US – oftentimes for baby ‘gear’ – but I didn’t love the idea of opening a breast pump or a nappy bin at my shower! So the girls spoiled me with the most beautiful array of clothing, blankets, embroidered towels… I had to buy a new suitcase to bring home all my gorgeous new goodies!

What was the highlight?

Being surrounded by so many sweet friends and family. I was so touched by how many girls flew in from all over to celebrate me and my precious baby!

Have you thrown anyone else a baby shower?

I have! Most recently I co-hosted one for my dear friend Mariella in the Orangery of Kensington Palace. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful afternoon in late March, and sunlight was pouring into the back alcove, which we’d reserved for our group. It was a lovely celebration in such a beautiful setting. And I’m currently planning two other baby showers for this autumn – is there a more joyous occasion to celebrate than a new baby?!


Wardrobe Icons’  co-founder Petro Stofberg on throwing her business partner and best friend Laura Fantacci a pretty, pastel-hued shower.

How long have you known Laura?

About 10 years, we met at Happy Magazine (closed now) where we worked together but remained friends, getting closer as we had kids and got married around the same time and our husbands like one another.

How many months pregnant was Laura when you threw the shower?

Nine – at one point we thought she would give birth before the shower. We cut it very, very fine.

Was it a surprise or did Laura know and was part of the planning?

She knew I was planning one and put the guest list together. But I kept her out of the planning. To be honest she wasn’t that fussed about having one but she loves an event so much I knew she would regret it if we didn’t do anything. Her amazing friend Nora helped with (basically did) all the food. I am not sure it would have come together so well if she hadn’t been involved.

Was there a theme to the shower?

Liberty print, subtle shades of pink, green, yellow and cream. I also got a mix of flowers in similar colours. Meri Meri have the best selection of beautiful decorations – they are my party planning go-to.

What did you serve to eat and drink?

Nora made beautiful sandwiches that looked like they had come straight from a gourmet deli. She also made a cheesecake and cupcakes. I made some meringues and Gruyere and tomato tart. We also had some amazing gluten-free cakes that everyone ate regardless if they were gluten free or not as they were so delicious. We had ginger, lemon and apple drink, prosecco, lots of tea and coffee.

Did you play any games and if so which?

No, we were too busy catching up and chatting!

What was the highlight?

Laura’s face when she saw her friends, the table and opening presents. Everyone had gone to so much effort – it was lovely. Also it was a glorious summer day in May – we couldn’t have asked for much more.

What makes Laura special?

I actually can’t answer this question without getting horribly sentimental. Let me put it this way – even though she is on maternity leave I speak to her almost every day and still miss her. She is one of my closest friends because she is fearless, smart (much smarter than she gives herself credit for), incredibly loyal and very generous. She also finds me hilarious.


Whether it’s a girlie or glamorous affair, dress the part in our edit of perfectly polished pieces.




Thanks to Sophie Goodwin, Maria Means-Cote and Petro Stofberg.

Main photo credit: Gathre

Edited by Katie Stalker