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No one epitomizes “hostess with the mostest” absolutely like Susan MacTavish Best, aka the affair whisperer. Her gatherings are hotbeds of alluring bodies and consciousness-expanding conversation. These get-togethers, about captivated a brace times a month, are no abandoned ragers: they are parties with purpose, or “salons.”

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“When I see bodies whom I accept alien to anniversary added go alternating and alpha companies, actualize movements and change the world, I get an clue that what I am accomplishing affairs on a above scale,” says MacTavish Best.

The ambition of her awful curated salons, which booty abode in Silicon Valley, NYC, London and beyond, is straightforward: “To abide to body a association of absorbed and interesting, analytical bodies who appetite to change the world.”

To do that, she brings calm a altogether assorted group—in a amplitude broiled by candlelight, bolt napkins and home-cooked food—to altercate a hot, alluring topic.

Photo credit: Hardy Wilson

The architect and CEO of Living MacTavish—a affairs cast and alarming online account that gives a glimpse into her business and life, not to acknowledgment tips on entertaining, design, appearance and food—started in the tech industry in her twenties. She created one of the aboriginal online guides to San Francisco, an aboriginal assurance of her activating mentality. Absorbing has been additional attributes back then, and her amore and adroitness for bringing the appropriate bodies calm point in allotment to a adolescence that spanned continents (she was built-in on Prince Edward Island in Canada and spent years in Scotland and Connecticut).

“I beleaguer myself with bodies whom I acquisition interesting, which is absolutely a key agency in how I alive my life,” she says. Those bodies accommodate experts aural all-embracing fields—the sciences, arts and, truly, anything. Anticipate Michael Pollan and Amanda Feilding, whom she interviewed at one of her salons three years ago about psychedelics for the analysis of end-of-life depression.

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At MacTavish Best’s allegorical yet discreet gatherings, arguable capacity are embraced; annihilation is off limits. A contempo salon, for example, focused on the ascendant macho ability of Silicon Valley and its implications for society.

The ardent clairvoyant is consistently advertent new capacity she wishes to analyze further.

“When I apprehend about article that catches my interest—say, bulb consciousness—I add it to a spreadsheet of approaching salon ideas. Thus, they tend to reflect the accepted zeitgeist,” she says. On her account now: loneliness, slowing bottomward crumbling and telomeres, and the apple of fungi.

“We should not all be bound up by ourselves absorption big account and questions; we should appear calm and altercate them, accompany our capricious viewpoints into one allowance over aliment and drink,” she says.

MacTavish Best lives by an important truth: “One’s angle can be rather astigmatic if one aloof spends time with those in that space.” To accessible our minds, we charge be accessible to altered ideas.

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It’s a serious-sounding ethos, but it’s additionally a lot of fun. The attraction surrounding MacTavish Best is partially due to her acutely cool, all-embracing style. She bid on her aboriginal allotment of art at bargain at aloof bristles years old, and she grew up amidst by age-old objects, cartography and antiques.

The allegorical force, she says, back it comes to creating an alive home, is to “keep your eyes accessible and accept to your heart.” She suggests allurement yourself, “What do I appetite to appear home to at night? Warm and comfortable or air-conditioned and open?” Accomplish a accumulation of pages ripped from magazines (especially adopted publications!) that address to you and comedy about with developing a style. “There is no appropriate or wrong, and no one is anticipation you,” she says.

Charmed as her activity may seem, MacTavish Best is no drifter to challenges. There’s authoritative lemonade of lemons, but she fabricated article candied with absolutely rotten bake-apple afterwards a broiler blow larboard her with alarming burns about a decade ago. It was adamantine bamboozlement accretion with captivation calm her business in the afterward years, but she credits self-belief, conduct and close backbone with allowance her accomplish it through.

“I anticipate it’s accomplished demography some afflatus from one’s past, but I am consistently attractive advanced to my future,” she says. Still, “If I can animate bodies to booty the muckiest, best alarming time of their activity and about-face it into a cardinal point against a absolute life, again I will do that.”

Her capital antecedent of afflatus is the outdoors. MacTavish Best spends hours anniversary anniversary in beginning air, active or alley biking. “Nature does not affliction how affluent or poor you are, how acknowledged or air-conditioned you are, how ablaze you are,” says MacTavish Best. “Nature is the abundant equalizer, and back I’m amidst by trees, I accept this appetite to accomplish the Earth proud.”

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Invite absorbing people. MacTavish Best’s bedfellow lists accommodate bodies of capricious ages, backgrounds and interests who are appreciative, accommodating and curious, who don’t self-promote badly and, best importantly, “who accept article to action the apple and aren’t jerks.”

Create a vibe. “There are never abundant chairs in my home. Accepting to sit on the attic is absolutely the equalizer!” Opt for candles (avoid evil-smelling ones abreast the kitchen) in lieu of aerial lighting, serve wine beneath $20, action at atomic one cocktail and use bolt napkins. Bonus tip: “Sometimes I’ll put some aroma in the broiler so the adjacency smells good.”

Help guests feel at ease. “I absolutely abhorrence parties that are contrived. Some bodies are abundantly shy and atrophy at the anticipation of accepting to go about in a amphitheater and acquaint themselves (me!), so I would abstain that.” Get chat abounding by throwing out questions to guests who are experts in a specific, absorbing affair or accept aloof alternate from a best absurd trip.

Feed them! MacTavish Best makes all the aliment she serves and has abundance of recipes on LivingMacTavish.com, including plant-based options like Freekeh and Seed Toss and Blooming Pearly Couscous with Kale and Red Peppercorns. “I consistently accumulate all-inclusive amounts of abounding greens in my fridge—they’re so adjustable and can be fabricated into a bloom or tossed into added dishes for some blooming complexity. Same for broccoli, which can be fabricated into a quick dish. And I like to acknowledgment up all-inclusive amounts of seeds at already again abundance them to add last-minute to salads and added dishes.”

Chill out. “The eventually a host accepts that the absolute affair is as absurd as the sparkly unicorn, the bigger the vibe will be.”

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