The Ultimate Guide To Entertaining At Home

As the festive holiday season is coming up, you probably have quite a few different social occasions on your calendar. You might even be hosting a few of these at home yourself. Wondering what you can do to wow all your guests and ensure that everyone has a fantastic time? Is so, then don’t worry. I’ve written this blog post with you and all your different at-home gatherings in mind!

Hopefully, you will find plenty of tips in this article that can help you plan and host all manner of social gatherings, whether you are having a dinner party or just having some close friends and relatives around for drinks and nibbles.

So, ready to get entertaining? Read on to find out more!

It Doesn’t Have To Be Too Much Hassle.  Want to see your friends but can’t be bothered with all the stress and hassle that goes into planning a whole dinner party? Well, you don’t have to go to all that effort if you don’t want to! Why not just invite all your mates round for some wine. You could even just settle for a movie night and chill out on the sofa with a bottle of wine and heaps of popcorn. Thanks to services like Optimum Online, you can easily have a movie night at home for a very reasonable price. And that means you don’t have to pay the extortionate popcorn and drink prices in most movie theaters! You don’t even have to go to the bother of finding a movie to watch if you don’t want to - you could simply kick back and chat!

Stay Organized.   If you decide that you would quite like to invite everyone around for a dinner party or more formal get together - how about a cocktail party, perhaps? Then, it is always key to stay as organized as possible in the planning. That way, you can get your food or cocktail menu sorted as well as planning the various decorations that you might need. It’s a good idea to give yourself a few different deadlines to ensure that your party planning stays on track and you don’t end up getting behind with things. You should also write down any important notes and reminders in a diary so that you don’t forget anything at all!

Stick To Your Budget.   No matter what kind of entertainment you are hoping to put on for your friends and family, you should always have a budget. That way, there is no worry that you will overspend and end up out of pocket. Yes, even if you do just have a movie night, you should set yourself a budget - after all, the wine and nibbles that you buy will cost money! If you are hoping to host a bigger do, such as a dinner party, you should think about how much you are willing to spend and then split it into smaller amounts and allocate each amount for various things you need to buy, such as food, wine, and decorations.

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Give Plenty Of Notice.  Don’t just leave it till the day before your planned event to tell all your friends to come around. They might have made some other plans that they can’t get out of. So, to make sure that none of your guests end up double booking themselves on the evening of your little social event, you should let everyone know about your party in plenty of time. There are various ways you can inform your guests about your party. The easiest and cheapest way is to simply set up a Facebook event. You should email or call all your friends who aren’t on Facebook. Alternatively, if you want to add a bit more sophistication and class to your invites, you could always send out some proper, paper ones. You might like the idea of making your own. If you think that sounds like too much effort, then you can always buy some smart invitations online.

Be Firm With Your Guest List.   It’s not a good idea to invite a crowd of people into your home for your entertaining. Even if you know everyone who you invite, it’s a good idea to try and keep your guest list down to an absolute minimum. Inviting a lot of people will only create extra work for you especially when it comes to cooking, and there is no way you will have the time to chat with each and every individual. Remember that you should be very firm when it comes to your final guest list as well. If someone asks to bring a plus one even though you haven’t given them one, you shouldn’t feel bad about saying no. After all, there are only so many people that will fit in your home!

Don’t Get Stuck In The Kitchen.  If you are preparing food, even if it’s just some nibbles and not a full three-course meal, you shouldn’t end up stuck in the kitchen. It’s really important that you can be out and about socializing with all your guests. You are the host, after all, and it’s your job to ensure that everyone is having a good time. So, the best thing you can do is to try and prepare all your food in advance. Of course, this might not always be possible. That’s often the case if you are cooking meat, such as steak for instance, and need to cook it right before you serve. In this case, make sure you choose a dish that doesn’t need you to stand over it while it is cooking.

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Always Remember The Non-Drinkers.  Not everyone who comes to your home will be drinking alcohol. Some people will need to drive while others might be completely T-total. So, as you can see, you need to have a good selection of alcoholic-free beverages for them to choose from. Just having tap water and one fruit juice isn’t enough! These days, there are more people who don’t drink than ever before; it’s become quite a trend. So, you need to make sure that you have a few different non-alcoholic beverages on offer. Why not mix up some virgin cocktails as well?

Go For Self-Service Food.   Serving out food can get quite messy, and making sure the dish looks great on the plate isn’t always easy. Plus, it will end up taking a lot of your time. Don’t fancy playing waiter or waitress? That’s alright - you don’t have to! Rather than waiting on all your friends, you should simply cook up some food that they can help themselves to. A buffet is probably your best option. But there are other dishes that you can all enjoy as a sit-down meal that are self-service. Take one-pot meals, like lasagna or casserole. You just need to put the pot right in the middle of the table and then everyone can dig in and help themselves.

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Set The Mood.  Even if you are having a few chilled drinks at home, it’s still important to set the mood. If you don’t, then your evening get together will fall flat because there won’t be any atmosphere. It’s really easy to create a nice mood and atmosphere simply by putting some background music on. It’s best to have some ambient music on in the background that doesn’t have any lyrics. Otherwise, your guests might end up being distracted by the lyrics. Classical music also works well and can add a bit of class and sophistication to your party.

Have A Kids’ Corner.  Not all of your entertaining has to be done in the evening, of course. However, if you do want to invite your friends around during the day, you should expect them to bring the kids around. In this case, it’s a good idea to prepare for all your young guests and set up a kids’ corner. Make sure there are plenty of toys and books that all the kids can entertain themselves with. If you have some kids who are slightly older, you might want to put them in charge so that you and your guests don’t have to check in on the kids so often. Remember that children don’t necessarily have the same tastes as adults, so you should add some child-friendly dishes onto your menu.

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Go Outside… If Weather Permits.  If the weather is nice while you are entertaining why not take your guests outside to enjoy the sunshine!? Of course, this might not always be possible in the winter, but the summer is perfect for outdoor dining, especially barbeques. Even if you are just having your friends around for some drinks, there is nothing better than relaxing on the patio and watching the sun go down.

So, hopefully, all of these tips will help you get through any home entertaining, whether that is over the coming festive period or throughout next year. You better watch out, though - if you enjoy it so much you might get the dinner party bug and could end up organizing them quite frequently!

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