A quick guide to help you host the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner at home.
The number one decision you need to make is what time you’re hosting – during breakfast, lunch or dinner? For the early risers, breaky with friends is a great start to the day (bottomless mimosas anyone?). But if you’re keen for a sleep-in, we recommend opting for a long lunch or dinner that turns into drinks. The meal you choose completely depends on how many people you’re inviting. If it’s more than six, you may want to ask everyone to bring something.
We know it’s 2019 and not every event needs a formal invitation, but sometimes it’s nice to receive snail mail, rather than a notification! If you’re sending invites though, make sure you’re sending them at the right time. Too early and your guests may forget that you’re hosting a party, but too late and your guest list may shrink. We recommend sending them out three weeks before the event to be safe.
You don’t want to spend your entire party in the kitchen, so stick with a menu you’re familiar with and easy-to-cook foods. This isn’t the time to test those soufflés you saw on a Facebook video! Pick crowd-pleasing dishes you can prep beforehand and finish quickly. About 45 minutes from when your guests arrive to when the meal is served is perfect. That leaves plenty of time for appetisers, introductions and that one friend who’s always late. Don’t forget to order any food or ingredients in advance! You can pre-order all of your bread needs from your local Bakers Delight.
Make sure you choose your playlist in advance. Music should already be playing when your first guests arrive. That way, you don’t get stuck trying to please everyone while they stand around in awkward silence. If you don’t have time to pick individual songs, Spotify has plenty of ready-to-go playlists that’ll churn out a nonstop selection of fitting tunes.
You want your guests to feel at home, so use your party as an opportunity to clear out the extra clutter at home. Now that you’ve stowed away the toys and fridge decorations, it’s time to dress up your home. You don’t have to spend a fortune or turn your living room into a nightclub, but you should make the effort to do something special for you guests. A simple way to reinvent the space is to get fresh flowers or light up some candles if it’s a dinner party.
Save yourself the last minute stress and set out everything in advance. Instead of rushing around getting each guest a drink, set up the bar and glassware ahead of time. You don’t need to put out a full bar – just arrange a few bottles of wine, a small tub of iced beers and a pitcher of water. You can also set the table/s, put out food that doesn’t require cooking and prepare ingredients.
The worst part of any event has to be the clean up! Make your life easier by having small bowls for your guests to leave toothpicks and olive pits, a few discreet bins for used plates and napkins, and a tray for empty glasses just outside the kitchen if possible. If you have a dishwasher, make sure this is empty before the party begins. That way you have plenty of room for all the dirty dishes and you can load as you go.
There’s nothing better than gathering your friends together for an event, so don’t forget to enjoy these moments. After all, it’s a party!