It’s that time of year when frequent get-togethers form an essential part of the season. While we’re not complaining, it can be stressful when you’re under pressure to host a group of friends, relatives or work colleagues. Do you implement a theme? Ask people to bring their own drinks? The etiquette around hosting an informal party can be exasperating. So before you even send out the invites, have a clear plan in place and use it as a guideline. Here’s where to start.
1. Make sure you’ve communicated the details of your party
Whether you do you have a theme, or an unusual starting time, make sure that everyone’s on the same page, including whether they should bring anything along.
2. Know everyone’s dietary requirements before menu planning
Allergies and intolerances are incredibly diverse, and if you don’t have a handle on what your friends can or can’t eat, you’re setting yourself up for disappointed guests.
3. Always have a welcome drink ready (and chilled)
Kick things off with a homemade cocktail or any enticing refreshment – be it alcoholic or not. The important thing is to remember to chill it beforehand – either have a large cooler box filled with ice, or a sophisticated champagne cooler filled with bottles of bubbly or wine.
ALSO READ: Tips on how much booze to buy for a party
4. Cook ahead of time, if possible
To minimise any cooking stress, it’s a great idea to go for foods that can all be served at room temperature or a one-pot dish prepared well in advance that can simply be reheated upon serving, like a curry with store-bought rotis, some premade sambals and rice.
5. Always have an element of surprise
Whether you decide to gift each person with a little take-home gift or unveil a show-stopping dessert, a little surprise factor goes a long way and shows that you really care about your guests’ enjoyment.