Beat the credit crunch and entertain at home

Unless you have buried your head in the sand recently you can’t fail to notice the impending ‘recession’ is loaming. So it is quite likely that many of us will decide to entertain at home more frequently rather then spending excess money at restaurants. So how can you ensure your dinner party is a touch above the rest? Yes of course you want the food to be good but let me ask you – of all the recent parties or dinner parties you have been to, what do you remember? Was it the food & drink you were served or the atmosphere & little touches?

Top tips for entertaining at home:

  • Make a guest list.
    Ask as many friends/family as you can accommodate to a sit-down dinner. Mix your social circle to make it interesting for all those attending to stimulate conversations.
  • Send invitations. Everyone loves to receive a printed invitation so aim to send out about 6 weeks before the proposed date (if possible). Print on nice paper, perhaps wrap in tissue paper before putting in the envelope, you want guests to be excited from the outset.
  • Theme. Decide which theme you want to go for and devise the menu & design around this. 
  • Food & Drink. Think about what food to serve and ask your local wine merchant which wine best suits your evening. If you do not want to cook yourself perhaps ask every guest to bring a dish? Or if budget allows hire a local chef & waitress to really take the pressure of you.
  • Music – unless you can afford some live musicians I suggest on soft jazz or rat pack for during dinner then whatever music suits your guest demographics after dinner.
  • Lighting really changes the mood of an evening, my favourite ideas are:
    1. Line your pathway with lanterns
    2. Position fairy lights round any bushes, trees or large plants in the front garden
    3. Have a scented candle in the hallway to greet guests as they arrive ( my current favourite is  Cassis   from The White company)
    4. Light your fireplace or put church candles inside it
    5. In the living room have various candle holders positioned on furniture
    6. If guests see your garden, then hang lanterns with ribbon from your trees
    7. On your table have some little candle holders amongst the flowers or consider hiring a candelabra   instead for a dramatic effect.

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1 Comment

  1. Jane McCabe on 28th January 2009 at 11:22 am

    Hi Bernadette, I was just reading through your Entertaining at Home advice and thought you might like to know about Book a Cook – Sasha Harvey promotes the services as Cooks and Chefs for Every Occasion with healthy, appetising cooking as priority. Sasha’s very friendly, professional and would be great to work with.

    Anyway, just thought it might be interesting to you and your readers.

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