Not all her ideas require a billionaire’s budget, however. She recommends shimmer curtains (€4; amazon.co.uk) to “disco up” any room and joke-shop chattering teeth for amusing place-card holders, while a room full of balloons brings the wow factor minus the overdraft. Easy does it, though — the ever-elegant Leahy always errs on the side of good taste. “I always pick one element that I really want to shine,” she says, “although, at Christmas, I’d be more decoration-heavy — lots of flowers, miniature Christmas trees and good lighting. I put tapered candles, tealights and fairy lights wherever I can to add warmth, glamour and intimacy.” And you’ll often find a Lucky Voice karaoke machine at one of her parties. But, she warns, “make sure you have wine to give to your neighbours the next day”.
Speaking to Leahy, it’s instantly obvious why clients hire her: she’s warm and vivacious, the very definition of great craic. There’s an infectious enthusiasm in the way she recounts events — such as a recent anniversary party she masterminded on Mustique featuring a DJ flown in from London, a huge inflatable oyster shell, African Dutch wax tablecloths and tropical plant displays — that makes you yearn for that elusive invitation.
Is being Irish the secret of her success? “I don’t think we take ourselves so seriously,” she says. “We’re self-deprecating and we know how to make fun of ourselves. I think that’s essential when it comes to parties — if you take yourself too seriously, you can never have that great a time.” We’ll drink to that.