1. Be lavish
Generosity is the most fundamental aspect of hosting. Make your guests feel special. After all who doesn’t love to be indulged from time to time? Lavish doesn’t necessarily mean expensive, you can be extravagant with your time and effort without breaking the bank (I’ve never managed it, but I hear it can be done).
2. Be sensible
Debt is never fun, avoid it when possible. For example:
Essential: Buying your guests wine.
Lavish: Buying your guests really nice wine.
Unnecessary: Buying your guests a holiday to a vineyard in Burgundy.
The vibe of an evening is 50% company and 50% candles.
4. The chef needs a tipple
See that open bottle, the one by the oven? No, it’s not for the risotto. It’s for me.
5. Never apologise. Never explain.
Well ok, sometimes apologise; if your food killed someone or you used a low-fat alternative. However in general remember constantly slagging off your own efforts kills the mood and draws your guests attention to issues that they probably hadn’t noticed.
Always make dips. People love dips.
7. Get over it, no one else cares that much
Sometimes things don’t go to plan, hakuna matata, let it go. Remember:
The guest will judge better of a feast than the cook
8. Handwrite the invite
Don’t underestimate the exclusive allure of handwritten invite. Personal invitations let your guests know that they are important attendees rather than optional constituents of a long Facebook list.
9. Prep can be the best bit
My formula for brilliant prep:
- Pour a bowl of salted peanuts.
- Put on the 80s disco soundtrack.
- Eat all the peanuts.
- Dance in the kitchen.
- Pour another bowl of peanuts.
Most importantly don’t prepare alone. Invite people you like to the party and people you love to the prep!
10. Wear a fancy apron
Lookin’ good, cookin’ good. Gurrrl, you so fancy!