Socialite Cornelia Guest reveals her top party-hosting tip — cigarettes

Former “It girl” Cornelia Guest — whose parents were top socialite C.Z. Guest and polo champ Winston Frederick Churchill Guest — no longer makes the rounds to the city’s hottest clubs, but she still knows how to throw a party.

Guest, who now lives in Texas, confirmed a rumor Page Six had heard about her dinner parties: She puts out cigarettes on the table in crystal cups. 

“I always have cigarettes on the table,” Guest told us after strutting the runway for fashion designer pal Dennis Basso’s latest show.

“I always let people smoke in the house, otherwise the people who smoke get up and leave — and then half the table gets up,” she explained. “So I’m like, if you want to smoke, smoke. If someone doesn’t like it, they say it — and they are nice and they don’t.”

Dennis Basso, Cornelia Guest
Basso and Guest have been friends for 40 years.
WWD via Getty Images

Guest says put them in, “like a little shot glass or a small little vessel. It can be crystal or silver or porcelain. Whatever I decide to use that day.”

Designer Basso also says he keeps a pack of Marlboro Lights in a desk drawer for his guests.

“Honey, you can buy marijuana in NYC. There is nothing wrong with a regular cigarette,” he told us.

Dennis Basso, Cornelia Guest and Neil Sedaka
The pair, shown here with Neil Sedaka, used to party at spots like Studio 54.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Basso and Guest have been friends for 40 years, and he asked her to walk the final look in his “Great American Families” fashion show this season.

They met through Guest’s mother, who was one of Truman Capote’s “swans” and named to Eleanor Lambert’s International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. Basso and Guest were known to hang at the city’s chicest spots of the day, including Studio 54.

“We were at Studio 54 with Andy [Warhol] and Halston and Liza [Minnelli,” Basso reminisced. “It was endless.”

Cornelia Guest, Andy Warhol, Brooke Sheilds
They would hang out with people like Andy Warhol and Brooke Sheilds.
Getty Images

“We’d pull up to ‘Studio,’ there would be hundreds of people outside, and we’d give a little wave from the other side the street, next thing you know,” they were inside, he said, adding they’d always “run around in stretch limousines.”  

While Basso says much of the decade is a “blur,” Warhol’s “Blind date dinners,” at Le Cirque stand out.

“Most of the people at the table didn’t know one another,” Basso says. “He would put people together and he’d give out Interview [magazine].”

Boy George, Cornelia Guest, Marilyn and Andy Warhol
Cornelia getting a lift from Boy George, Marilyn and Warhol in 1985.
Dave Hogan

Basso, who dressed both Cornelia and her mother, is still having a blast designing today.

“It was an amazing journey,” he told us. “There are over 600 people in the audience today. To feel so relevant. To have young people in the audience, the Influencers, oh my god, the hip kids. It’s great, it’s fun.” 

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