For many people, Christmas is about spending time with family and friends.
This tends to mean some lucky member of your inner circle will be tasked with holding a party or some kind of extravagant feast.
In fact, maybe that lucky person is you!
If this is the case, take a look at our top tips for entertaining this holiday season.
1. Entertaining doesn’t have to mean formal, complicated or tortuous
Create exciting dishes to be shared using simple, fresh and seasonal produce. This will make your event so much easier as it will save time and stress!
2. Plan your menu in advance and create a timeline
Your plan should include list items such as required ingredients, when and where you will shop for them and types of serving ware that will be used. Make sure your plan also details key timings of when you will prepare and cook certain elements of your dishes.
3. Select recipes that you can mostly prepare in advance
I suggest this so that on the day of your event the only thing you need to do is to add the final touches, assemble or simply cook or re-heat. You don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen all day whilst everyone else is enjoying the labours of your hard work! Prepare some veggies sticks and have a selection of fresh, real ingredient dips (try Obela's dip range) at hand so your guests have something to nibble on between meals – they’ll love them and they won’t ruin their appetite for the main course!
4. Create separate areas so that your guests can roam and mingle
You can divide your area by course or by activity. I’d suggest carving out a separate area for:
- Drinks and punch
- Cheese and dips, dried fruit, chips & crackers
- Shared main dishes
5. Create separate seating areas for your guests
Think creatively about your space. Broaden your guests' dining experience to areas beyond the dinner table, think of spaces like your backyard! One of the best spaces to dress up is the lawn in your backyard (if you have one). Consider spreading out large, coloured rugs or blankets, and scattering them with cushions and throw rugs.
6. Consider the weather
During the summer months, when we see the temperature rise, your guests will appreciate light bites and icy cold drinks. Think, delectable homemade fruit punches, ginger beer or lemonade and light, fresh and healthy finger food – all will be sure to impress your guests!
You could serve up a Crostini served with Obela's Spicy Harissa Hommus or other dips, topped with a perfectly cooked prawn and garnished with thinly sliced fennel and coriander that has been dressed in a light vinaigrette! So delicious!
7. Consider dietary requirements
Make sure to check in with all of your guests ahead of time to ask if they have special dietary requirements. There are so many delicious and innovative dishes that are gluten free, nut free or vegan these days. You will not be stuck for choice and all of your guests will love them!
8. Create a festive mood
You can do this with beautiful table settings and decorations, bunches of fresh flowers, lighting, candles, incense and of course music.
9. Don’t forget about the children!
Have a think about how you can create activities to keep the kids entertained. If it’s a warm hot night, a simple blow up swimming pool will keep the little ones entertained for hours!
10. Always accept offers of help when asked
As a host you feel like you should have everything in hand but this is simply not true. Always accept offers of help from guests, even if its simple things like serving drinks or clearing away empty plates at the end of a course. A little help will go a long way and will make your night so much more relaxed and enjoyable. This will help ease the pressure off you so you can enjoy the evening too, and that can’t be a bad thing, right?