Wednesday, December 18, 2013

10 ways to entertain effortlessly during the festive season

Be the hostess with the mostest this festive season.  I am no Nigella, I can't cook like Jamie, and I never manage to style my food like Donna Hay, but I do love to entertain.  Here are my tips for ensuring that both you and your guests will have a good time, and that's really what its all about.

Hostess with the mostest tips:
  • Plan a menu where at least half of the dishes can be prepared the day before or on the morning of your event.  Cuts down the cooking and clearing up you need to do just before your guests arrive.
  • Create a drinks station.  I always make sure I get my guest their first drink, but after that its hard to make sure everybody has their glass filled all the time.  A drinks station with fresh glasses, iced water, and ice bucket allows guests to get their own drinks during the evening.
  • Decorate with fresh flowers.  Even the simplest bunch of flowers makes your home look loved.
  • Set the table the previous evening or in the morning.  After we have done the first round of food prep I spend a few hours setting the table and doing the flowers (can you tell I like this bit?).  This way you aren't rushed before you need to get into the final food prep, and you get to enjoy a pretty house while you are getting ready.
  • Load this dishwasher in the afternoon and empty it before your guests arrive.  Not only will the kitchen be nice and tidy but you can pack things straight into the dishwasher during the evening and keep it tidy as you go.
  • Team work makes prep easier to do and more fun. 
  • Freshen up your guest bathroom with a few flowers in a small vase or bottle, several fresh hand towels rolled and stacked as a smart restaurant does, and a lovely hand soap.
  • Tidy the house the evening before your event.  It always takes longer than you think and its one less thing to worry about the next day.
  • Create a party play list to set the mood.  Then it's a simple as plugging in your smart phone and enjoying your evening.
Your guests will be more relaxed and enjoy themselves more if you are relaxed too.  So plan ahead, do your prep work early, and remember to enjoy yourself.

Photograph taken by Graeme Myburgh at the Festive Fiesta pop up party I threw here.

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