I've compiled a list of my top 5 things to cover off when entertaining. They are my go to Entertaining basics that will make your life easier every time you invite your best friends over, whether it be for a night of nibbles and drinks or a full on 3 course wine and dine themed evening!
Thinking about dipping your toe into the entertaining game?
Want to up the anti for when your friends come over?
Maybe you have your first place and cannot wait to have your favourites come over?
1. Think outside of the box with the space you have
First thing to know is, you don't need lots of space.
In my first place, we actually didn't even have room for a dining table! We still hosted though - we opted for a fold up table that we stored behind the sofa and 'popped' it up every time we had friends over for dinner parties.
There is always a way around a lack of space...
Could you host a canape evening?
Maybe opt for a cute picnic theme and set up on the floor?
Is there outdoor space that can be used?
Entertaining these days is so much more flexible than it was. It doesn't have to mean sat down around a table with a 3 course meal anymore if you don't want it to, and it is so much more creative for it!
2. Straight forward menu's for the win
So you have decided to host your first dinner party. Where do you start?
My advice? Start simple. Decide on a menu that you have made before, you know is a crowd pleaser and is easy to pull together.
You'll have lots of things on the day that will be pulling your focus - complex food prep and convoluted schedules will not be your friend. You don't want to be learning a new dish and hoping it goes to plan on the night everyone arrives, or stuck in the kitchen whilst everyone is around the table. Make your life easy and decide on a crowd pleaser. Keep it simple and you will thank yourself later. I promise!
3. Prep is your best friend
Prepare everything ahead of people arriving. Like, as much as you can manage.
Doing starters? Pick ones that can be dished up ahead of your first guests arriving.
Main - pull it all together and have it simmering ready to reheat or plate up so it just takes you a few minutes to serve.
Going in on dessert? Can you find something can just needs to be popped in the oven as you sit down for the mains so it's ready as you finish? Or go cold and have it ready in the fridge before arrivals next to the starters too!
The more you can do ahead of your guests arriving, the more relaxed you will be when the evening is in motion.
4. Water Jugs are essential
It's amazing how such a small thing can be overlooked. Water through a meal is so handy. Most will have a water glass on the table but the addition of a water jug will save you running to and frow from the kitchen each time guests need a top up and it allows the conversation to flow too. Just take my word on this one!
5. Set the vibe
So you have prepped everything humanly possible, you are super confident in the menu you have pulled together as everything has been made before, the water jug is out and you have laid out your dining space perfectly.
Time to put your music on...
Setting the vibe of the event is as easy as hoping on the Spotify and selecting the entertaining playlist of your dreams. Maybe a candle or two if you have the space and it's safe to.
Make sure you give yourself at least 10 minutes before everyone arrives. You can take a moment to gather yourself, slow down a little (after, lets be honest, running about prepping everything and tidying everything away!) and get in the zone for a fabulous evening with your friends!