How do some people do it? Are they blessed with an out-of-the-ordinary gift of hospitality? They ooze, “no worries,” just ease for everyone? I mean really, there must be some clandestine system that I want to be privy to; certainly I’m not always that nonchalant when it comes to hosting a party. However, over the years I’ve learned a few strategies that help whether it’s an out-and-out shindig or neighbors stopping by while out on a walk.
There’s a special feeling as soon as you walk in the door. Someone greets you, takes your belongings, you hear music drifting from somewhere and you’re handed a glass of something wonderful. You relax and start to walk in rhythm with the music to the next room where others have gathered.
Behind the scenes – Preparation and planning took place; menus were shaped, the house was cleaned and good tunes were chosen, creating the perfect vibe to work for the evening. Ahead of time, think of ways to care for your guests. Are there any dietary restrictions? Have an assortment of nibbles and drink offerings; places to sit or mingle and keep the vibe going.
Food is festive and communal, whether it’s fancy or take-out pizza. It mixes well with the inviting drinks that were handed out on arrival.
Behind the scenes – Cook smart; cook ahead and use some prepared items. Chips, nuts, cheese and even dessert are perfect items to purchase. Elevate their status by using beautiful serving pieces. It’s surprising how much better those bakery cookies look on a pretty plate.
Time flies by when you’re relaxed. You glance at your watch and notice it’s been a few hours, yet your host shows no sign of wrapping it up. You decide to have coffee with the luscious chocolate that’s being passed around.
Behind the scenes – Hospitality has been happening all evening. The host is enjoying time with guests; knowing that the dishes will wait until the morning. Hospitality, after all is a state of mind which prioritizes spending time with friends and family.