When you’re having guests over in Winter, there are more options beyond just serving soup in front of the fireplace. Let’s explore some ideas for entertaining in the cold.
Comfort food pot luck
There's nothing better than comfort food on a cold day, so why not ask your guests to bring their favourite comfort food dish? To keep things organized and avoid doubles (or triples) of one dish, ask them to RSVP with the dish they plan to bring. Guests who don't like to (or can’t) cook, can supply things like bread, salads and snacks. Once everyone has arrived, set up a long table with plates, bowls and cutlery so everyone can serve themselves.
Have a braai
The traditional South African braai is more often associated with the Summer months, but if you’re going to gather around a fire, why not put is to good use? Tell your guests to dress warmly, position gas patio heaters around your braai area, and make a big and cosy bonfire in the middle – it will serve a double purpose: keeping your guests warm and supplying coals for the fire. Serve hot side dishes instead of the traditional salads, a baked pudding for dessert, coffee, cocoa and hot chocolate instead of cold drinks, and sherry or schnapps rather than beer.
Spruce up your space
If you are planning on entertaining outdoors, here are 10 ideas to Winterise your entertainment area:
1. Add patio curtains to your covered patio to help keep in the heat. Outdoor curtains or roll-up bamboo shades can also help block the wind and add privacy to your patio.
2. Distribute inexpensive throw blankets to your guests for additional warmth.
3.Create a warm, welcoming atmosphere with candles and soft lighting.
4. Make sure you have some cosy cushions for guests to sit on, rather than having to sit on cold patio furniture.
5. Make warmth part of your party theme with an ugly Christmas sweater party or a funny Winter hat party.
6. Serve hot drinks, such as spiced apple cider, hot chocolate, hot toddies or flavoured cof-fees.
7. Purchase an outdoor rug to add texture and colour to your entertaining space while also providing a soft layer between your guests and a cold stone or concrete patio.
8. Provide plenty of table space so that your guests do not have to hold cold drinks all night.
9. Make roasting marshmallows part of the fun to give your guests an excuse to gather around the fire to stay warm.
10. Keep in mind that it gets dark earlier during Winter months and your guests may need a little extra walkway lighting to guide them to your front door or through your backyard.
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