Having friends or family over for cocktails or coffee is a wonderful thing. I can think of nothing better than a great night in the comfort of my own home. But being a hostess isn't as simple as just hanging around in your home, it requires a certain amount of finesse to make your guests feel as welcome as possible. Here are my top 5 tips for hostess rookies:
1. Start with a blank slate. A clean house is imperative to making people feel comfortable. And when I say ‘clean’, I don’t mean ‘everything bleached within an inch of its life’. Unless you’re my mum. Because, well, that’s just how she rolls. But what I mean for the rest of the population is tidy. Make sure there isn’t any mess & clutter around that would make your guests uncomfortable. The last thing you want is guests dodging your piles of dirty clothes & shoes to reach the kitchen.
2. When guests arrive, offer them a drink. This is the first thing my mother taught me. Not only does it satiate their thirst, it also gives you an opportunity to make them feel more comfortable. I find it terribly awkward asking a host for a drink the moment I arrive & usually wait around for them to make an offer that never comes. This is especially important if your guests have had to travel more than 20 minutes to come visit you!! Driving can be thirsty work!
3. Keep the fridge stocked. When you’re offering your guests a drink, make sure it’s not just water or milk. Because lets face it, they’re the lamest options available. Personally I find it is always useful to keep iced water, ice tea, a couple beers and the odd bottle of white wine in the fridge also. I would also recommend keeping your ice trays full too – hot days are made bearable with ice cold drinks! Your guests will definitely appreciate it.
4. Keep them fed. If you are having friends over for coffee, some biscuits or pastries never go astray. If its cocktails your friends are coming over for, some food they can nibble on will make all the difference – the easiest being a cheese platter. Just buy a couple types of cheeses, a couple types of crackers & something sweet like fig paste or fruits.
5. Adapt. OK, I’ll admit that one was pretty vague. Basically I’m trying to say that if you have a bunch of introverted, quiet guests then do your best to find a subject most people can talk about that gets the ball rolling. If your guests are loud & full of conversation, don’t try to talk over everyone. But know that you are the hostess, and you can direct the conversation any way you choose.
Either way, I believe the most important part about being a good hostess is to be the politest version of yourself. Don’t feel the need to put on an act or suddenly turn into a hostess terminator, just be the most courteous you can manage. Your friends like you just the way you are & will embrace whatever style you bring to an event whether is grunge chic or elegance personified!
Happy entertaining! Sunny xx
Picture source: here