Golden rules for hosting

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).

Mexican feast, featuring guacamole, sweetcorn salsa, quesadilla, fish tacos, refried beans and goat birria
Treat your guests to a fiesta!

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.

3. Mood-lighting

The vibe of an evening is 50% company and 50% candles.

My dining room has previously been compared to a shrine

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.

6. Dip

Always make dips. People love dips.

Serve alongside some crusty sourdough! (this photo is an excuse to smugly show you all my bread success)

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

― Aristotle

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.

Any excuse to crack out the wax seal

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!

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