With summer on the way, you're probably thinking of having friends and family round. Lovely goodies to eat, maybe a few cocktails and a good old catch up? But entertaining at home can sometimes be a real pain in the proverbial. With all the prep and the cleaning to do, you can end up exhausted before the guests even arrive. Check out these tips to make the whole experience easier and more enjoyable.
Getting your house in order
First of all, if your house is a tip or the carpet has seen better days. Do something about it now. You'll be more open to inviting people over if you feel you have a beautiful space, that reflects your taste.
Second, get the cleaning done in good time before people start ringing that doorbell. There is nothing worse than dashing to the door, a vacuum in one hand, a feather duster in the other to greet your guests. It's going to make them feel uncomfortable, and you're going to feel hot, bothered and stressed.
If a quick dust and polish aren't enough to get your home shipshape and Bristol fashion, think about a good spring clean. Make sure you do this several days before your party, as you can easily overload yourself with stuff to do.
After all the cleaning is done, you can get onto making the food. Although, I’d start planning it a few weeks in advance. You could use online recipes sites such as allrecipes to help you decide what to cook. Ensure that any allergies and intolerances are catered for too.
A great piece of advice is to serve a buffet, which can be prepared before time. Getting out there and talking to your guests and enjoying your party is much more important than being stuck in the kitchen!
If you are hosting a summer get together, you could provide a refreshing cold buffet including salads, quiche, and nibbles. If your get together is a winter affair, how about a slow cooker chill, where guests can help themselves? You could even make some cornbread to go with it and top it off with some guacamole and sour cream.
Ok, so your guest will probably bring some drinks, but it is important that you have some available as well. Cocktails are fun in the summer and don't have to be alcoholic, making it easier to cater for designated drivers and the kids. If you are looking for a more adult winter time, drink to serve how about mulled wine or hot chocolate with a twist?
Finally, to make your party go with a bang, use some fun decorations! Pinatas are great as they keep the little ones happy and can provide entertainment for the whole group. Bunting is also a popular choice, especially for tea parties and garden parties. Purchase paper cups and plates to match your other decorations. Then throw them away at the end of the party, saving on that all important washing up!