Tips for stress-free entertaining
When you have to do a spot of entertaining, the preparations can get a bit overwhelming. So panic sets in.
And yet entertaining should actually be good fun.
Here are some tips for successful, stress-free entertaining and chilled out guests…
One week before D-day:
- Clean your home so that you’re free to do other stuff on the day of the party.
- Make place in the refrigerator. And if you need more space, use the balcony (if the outside temperature permits). A camping cooler might also come in really handy.
- Plan the menu by selecting dishes that can be prepared beforehand, so as to have more time for unexpected glitches at the last minute.
- Make a list of things to do on the day of the party to avoid surprises.
- Make a list of all the required ingredients and shop for as many as you can. Don’t forget the drinks.
The day before D-day:
- Set the table. It’s OK to mix crockery and utensils: they’ll look nice on a pretty tablecloth.
- If you’re hosting a buffet, organize chafing dishes to warm up the dishes.
- Prepare the desserts and all the food that can be warmed up.
- Strictly follow the to-do list.
- Make sure the dishwasher is empty so you can pop in dirty plates as and when.
- Keep a tray of appetizers or crudités ready so that your first guests don’t starve while waiting for latecomers.
- Create the mood with candles and some appropriate music.
- Make sure your spouse and/or children will be there to look after your guests, while you’re busy in the kitchen.
- Once your cooking is over, take a final look around your house to tidy up any last minute mess, see if everything is in place and go get decked up.
A few golden rules:
- Don’t attempt anything you’ve never cooked before; it’s better to stick to recipes you’ve already mastered.
- Don’t hesitate to ask your family for help during the preparation.
- Avoid using air freshener in the house: The aroma of good food will be much more appealing to your guests.
- Only invite people that you like: In case something goes wrong, they’ll be more forgiving!
Stuck for inspiration? Choose one of our 7 Holiday Time suggestions from our Christmas section. You’ll find menus adapted to different tastes, requirements or allergies, all the recipes, grocery list as well as our step-by-step action plan.