One of my favorite parts about entertaining guests at my home is that it’s a chance to nurture others through a sensuous atmosphere equip with intellectual conversation. I’m a homebody by heart so it’s always more advantageous for me to host dinner parties at my house rather than rent out a venue. To me, utilizing one’s home as a way to entertain guests is not only financially practical, but also a great way to connect with guests.
Having hosted a few get-togethers with friends, I’m never one to stress over the way my home looks. Yes, a quick vacuuming here and there should do the trick, but a home should feel like it’s been lived in.
While it’s important to make a home inviting there are ways to set the mood for guests without going overboard.
Setting the Mood
Fresh Flowers: Fresh cut flowers really do a lot to spice up your home for a dinner party. Whether used as a centerpiece on the dining table or as decor on the fireplace mantle, fresh flowers are a way to show love for your guest. Plus they will smell lovely the entire evening.
Natural Air Fresheners: A great alternative to fragrance plugs, eco friendly air fresheners are just as effective in keeping your home smelling fresh. Here are a few you can try.
iPad Speakers: There’s no need to hire a DJ for a party at your home. Just plug in your iPad loaded with your favorite playlist and let the music play. Beats by Dr. Dre has a great portable wireless speaker for all Apple products.
Fluffy Pillows: I’m a big fan of having great conversation on the couch. It’s a really casual way for guests to take their glasses of wine and have a seat to chat with others. These Cashmere pillow covers from Williams Sonoma are a great way to relax guests and keep them comfortable throughout the evening.
Food and Convo
I always like to have plenty of food on hand for guest to chew and munch on as they’re guessing the next winner of Top Chef. While many dinner parties value full course meals for guests to eat, another way to feed guests is through appetizers.
Nowadays, the world of appetizers now double as entrees. The great thing about appetizers is that almost anything can be made into an appetizer. All you have to do is decrease the portion size and have a variety of dishes for guests to try.
My favorite way to serve appetizers is on white rectangular appetizer plates. These plates by Crate and Barrel are a perfect way to add a touch of elegance to your dinner party. I love having multiple appetizer plates to set out on the table so guests can pick and choose which appetizer to try.
Choice of Drink
I think one of the things that puts some off of hosting dinner parties is the grueling choice of what kind of drinks they should serve. For a dinner party I’m a big fan of wine, both red and white. However, when hosting a dinner party it’s important to never alienate non-alcohol drinkers. A great way to make these guests feel special is to pass on the Sprite or Coke and offer them something more exciting like a Sparkling water or Ginger Ale in a champagne glass.
A wine that I’m currently in love with is a bottle a friend gave to me as a gift from actor Sam Neil’s Two Paddocks winery. I highly recommend Two Paddocks line of Picnic Pinot Noir wines and also their 2011 First Paddock Pinot Noir, both which are grown on vineyards in Central Otago.
Whenever there is wine to be served there’s always a debate as to whether to serve red or white. Even though we are getting into the more warmer months, I still love the thought of serving a red wine especially with a great porterhouse steak. But, if you prefer to stick with white wine, it always goes great with something light like a spinach or kale salad.
Leftovers to Enjoy
When I host dinner parties I make plenty of food for everyone to enjoy so I’m prepared for there to be food leftover. Instead of taking up space in my fridge, I prefer to send leftover food home with guests.
In the news I hear too many heath hazards of using plastic, especially near food, so an eco-friendly way I’ve found to prepare leftovers for guests is to use cloth lids to cover over dishes and bowls. Ambatalia has a great selection of lids made out of natural fabrics which help to support a sustainable lifestyle.