Especially around Christmas and summer time, we all love to gather with friends and family. Here we share our helpful entertaining tips to help your dinner party, BBQ or 'drinks and nibbles' go smoothly.
- Things always take longer than you think, so allow a little extra time for preparation and planning.
- Adopt the ‘buy some, make some’ mantra. There’s no need to cook a menu entirely from scratch.
- If you’re serving canapés, allow five per guest for a one hour function, or eight for two hours.
- Stock up on non-perishables. Christmas cake, crackers or biscuits are good to have in the pantry in case of unexpected guests.
- Ease your workload by including a couple of items that can be made up to a day ahead, or have ‘do-ahead’ elements that can be put together just before they go to the table.
On the day
- Allow around 45 minutes between guests arriving and sitting down to eat. This gives everyone time to mingle and settle in.
- Cheese is best served at room temperature, so remove it from the fridge at least two hours before serving.
- If you are having a BBQ or serving food outdoors, make sure you check the weather forecast and allow for a plan B. Have sunblock, rugs and insect repellent available if needed.
- Serve your guests a welcome cocktail or mocktail as they arrive. It adds to the festive vibe and will make feel special.
- Let guests make their own cocktails. Have a few favourite recipes on cards, and all the ingredients on hand.
- Make sure you have some soft drinks or juice available for a non-alcohol option.
- Ensure that you have plenty of ice. You don’t want to run out in those hotter months.
- Place fruit, herbs and flowers in an ice tray, then fill it with boiling water and keep it in your freezer for a night. Out will come beautiful, clear ice cubes with surprises frozen in the middle!