Entertaining at home?
Here are some of our top tips to make it a breeze!
Do you love to entertain, but find yourself in the midst of the planning, so overcome by stress that you steer clear of the mere thought of inviting friends into your home? Good news Sassy Mamas, here are a few tips and tricks for stress-free entertaining. We know summer has come to a close (insert sigh here), but with record hot temperatures recently stretching the globe it feels fitting to squeeze in one last “summer” gathering before fall routines kick into high gear.
Now, I love nothing more than having friends over to share a meal around the dining table, I adore playing host and I actually enjoy the planning. The laughter, conversation and friendships built inside the walls of someone’s home far outweigh the added effort, so nix those restaurant reservations and throw a party!
Are you looking to play host, but unsure of how to keep things simple and carefree? Follow along and take note, I will unpack the process and impart tips and tricks for stress-free entertaining.
Who to Invite?
First off, consider the guest list – is it a girly bunch, a few couples or perhaps a crew of little ones? Remember to manage the numbers and invite a group that will comfortably fit around the dining table. Straightaway, I decided on a girl’s lunch all the way. Since I am eager to hang onto the glorious warmer days, I opt to keep things ‘summer simple’, yet dressed up a bit with lots of golden touches.
How to Decorate
I pull out my favourite linen napkins from my go-to spot in Paris, wrap them in L’Objet napkin rings, decide on white ceramic ware contrasted against patterned placemats by another top choice brand of mine – Chilewich. Take note, make sure to use real napkins; I think it adds a gracious touch. Plus, they are generally larger, more absorbent and add marginally little effort, really it is just an extra load of wash.
Next, I dressed the table centre with a giant bunch of fresh white flowers from the flower market, which I flanked with a pair of eternally glamorous Tiffany’s candelabras. On that note, there is no point in storing away your fancy goods only to be pulled out on Christmas Day. Use and enjoy your entertainment goods, don’t let them become mere objects to collect dust. Carrying on with effortless styling, I simply unwrapped the flowers, snipped the ends, plopped them in the vase of water, struck a match, lit the candles and voila, there you have it – a table ready for the arrival of guests.
Last but not least when it comes to the menu, I want to let you in on a little secret. I did not have a lot of time to scour through the wet market, pay a visit to the cheesemonger and trek through five or so different specialty stores – yes, making a non-local dish in Hong Kong can be tricky. That is when it dawned on me, why not consider take out?
All you have to do is re-plate the dishes and fill the glasses; the guests will never know the difference. Unless you proudly declare it, of course! For this belated summery lunch, I decided on a 50/50 approach, ordering tasty take away salads and fizzy lemonade from the tasty eatery – Artisan Garden Café.
A sprightly salad to start the meal; however, sticking with homemade eats for the final courses. The main included blackened chicken breasts served atop a quinoa-vegetable salad, and then to finish things off a tasty dessert featuring a light and refreshing raspberry sorbet topped with a mint leaf and fresh berries.
The dessert came straight from the Vitamix in under 30 seconds, meaning when I say simple I mean simple. It is important to mention, these tips and tricks easily translate across all seasons. Simply swap out the flower selection, exchange the citrus fruit atop the salad for roasted veg and serve up a warm pie or savorier dish for dessert. Cheers!
We extend a special thanks to Artisan Garden Café for providing the tasty treats and icy lemonade for the tablescape featured in the video.