With spring in the air, and lockdown finally over, our entertaining has gone from 0 to 100 overnight. Just like everything, there is an art to entertaining, and there is an art to being stress-free by the time your guests arrive so you can enjoy the night with your guests. Here is how we prep for stress-free entertaining at Home Impact:
1. Set the table the night before
Although setting the table doesn’t take a lot of time, doing it the night before means one thing checked off your to-do list. It will also allow you to take your time with it and set it in a way that you feel proud of.
2. Be strategic with your menu
More often than not, we overcomplicate the food menu when we are hosting a luncheon or a dinner party and choose foods that require us to spend more time in the kitchen than with our guests. Choose foods that you can cook either the day before or the morning of, such as slow-cooked meals, a roast chicken, or if you are time-poor, a store-bought lasagne. Dinner parties are less about the food we serve and more about spending time with our guests, so the more time we can spend at the table the better!
3. Clean the house the day before
A clean and tidy home is essential if you are entertaining; however, we don’t need to stress ourselves out about doing it the day of. Organise the cleaner to come the day before, or spend the time doing it the day before. Remember, this is just another thing checked off the list!
4. Organise flowers to be delivered the morning of, or wake up early and head to the markets
Florals are a wonderful way to bring some life into the home. If you are time-poor, organise a florist to deliver some beautiful arrangements the morning of, or head down to the markets and pick some up. Think about areas of your home that you wouldn’t usually put flowers to, like in your bathroom and any other parts of your home that your guests will be.
5. Ask your guests to bring a bottle or make pitchers of cocktails
Asking your guests to bring a bottle of wine or pre-making pitchers of cocktails means you can focus on the food and getting the house ready. Always make sure you have a few bottles of wine in the house and even a bottle of champagne for when your guests arrive if you are celebrating something special.
6. Serve a cheese platter
Everyone loves a cheese platter, and it takes no time at all to put this out. Having a cheese platter out for when guests arrive means you too can sit down and relax and not feel that you have to rush to serve dinner.
7. Ensure the dishwasher is empty before serving dinner
An empty dishwasher might sound irrelevant, however, it means you won’t be lumped with a kitchen full of dirty dishes at the end of the night. It also allows your guests to help out with a little bit of cleaning if they wish.
8. Store-bought dessert
Don’t waste hours in the kitchen baking, pre-order a cake from your local bakery, or task one of your closest friends with bringing dessert. This is just one thing off the to-do list that you won’t have to think about.
9. Use serving trays
Save yourself back, and forth trips to the kitchen, and serve the meal on big serving trays. Serving trays are a modern and interactive way of eating and mean fewer back-and-forth trips to the kitchen.
10. Plan your music
The music you play can set the entire mood for the night and create a beautiful ambience for the event. Find a playlist you can pop on at the beginning of the night so you dont have to think about it again!