Being an hostess is truly an art, lovelies.
Inviting people to your home can be a most enjoyable and memorable past time, especially as we gradually come out of quarantine.
You don’t need the excuse of a holiday or specific day for you to plan a mini get together with family and friends. You can hone your “hostess with the mostess” skills by inviting your loved ones over for an intimate dinner or impromptu teatime.
Like many of you, I have been the guest of amazing hostesses and have often wondered what made them so effortlessly gifted? What was their secret?
So what is it? Do you need a spectacular home? A personal chef? A high-end florist or is it the presence of distinguished guests?
“To invite a person to your house is to take charge of his happiness as long as he is beneath your roof.”
Because as much as many of us put pressure on ourselves to be the “perfect hostess”- what your guests really want is your presence and a lovely time.
Being the hostess with the mostess is more less about performance-based perfection, and more about pleasure-based grace.
And the best ingredient before your delicious canapés and luxe mise en scène? Your smile and good humour!
So keep scrolling to read 5 timeless entertaining tips to help you effortlessly and flawlessly host the loveliest gathering and an extra BONUS: COVID-19 friendly rules!
1. The ￼invitations
Invitations should convey the who, what, when, and where of your event and evoke the tone of the party. From engraved to e-mailed, the invitation should embody the formality level, the theme and the dress code—of the occasion. Throwing a ladies’ lunch? Go for something classic and comfortable like stationery engraved with your initials. Hosting a luxe tea time with yout book club? An e-mailed invitation means it’s an easygoing affair. Try using a casual, colorful electronic invitation for a more familiar group of friends. That way friends and relatives can keep track of who is coming, helping to build anticipation for the event.
Make sure you have a set schedule so that you can personally prepare for the event. Plan your grocery shopping, decor shopping and other preparations accordingly.
Concerning your guest list, choose people that likely know each other and who can also easily socialize with one another (same age group, friend group, etc…).
2. Set a theme
Choose a cool theme that is lovely and that resonates with your group of guests.
Adding a theme makes your event feel a little more put together and harmonious.
Make sure guest are aware of the theme beforehand via their invitations and details contained within them (see 1.). If costumes or accessories are required, make sure to do a follow up to make sure everyone is on board.
It can be a 20s Great Gatsby theme, a Downtown Abbey theme, a Lion King theme, the more creative the better!
You can add a little costume station where guests can partake in your theme with additional accessories, props and other coordinating accents.
3. Create the mise en scène
Decorate your surroundings with luxurious and feminine accents. Fancy and a hint of formality for the decor always does the trick. Make sure your Décor coincides with your theme. The Four Pillars of DECOR need to be attended to:
2- Table Cloth
How you dress the table is essential. The trimmings and linens can make all the difference in the decor since the table is often the centerpiece of the event.
You can only go so far in establishing a mood in your party space. As such, be sure to utilize music and lighting to enhance ambiance and create an environment that matches your party’s theme.
According to Susan Spungen, in her book “What’s a hostess to do?”: When you are brainstorming about assembled hors d’oeuvres, begin with the vehicle—a piece of toast, a hollowed-out cherry tomato—and build from there.
The making of a sophisticated and elegant spread doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank. The ingredients can be simple and affordable. Using Boursin cheese or classic mayonnaise make the perfect connection between your ingredients. Try this: add a creamy textured spread to complement other elements such as smoked turkey, salty cured salmon or chicken. In addition to a few composed hors d’oeuvres, you can offer a cheese plate, a salumi plate, or a crudité platter along with some nuts, olives, dips, crackers, and flatbreads.
Depending on the theme of your event, the guest list and scheduled time, you might want to offer all these options, or just some cheese and bread for your invités to enjoy. Whatever you decide is most appropriate, remember that less is often more and keeping things simple often works best.
Make sure you carve out some time to set up your bar area with different options (non-alcoholic drinks should always be available). Also let your creativity flow and be expressed in your presentation. Adding mint leaves, decorating with nuts and edible flowers can leave your ladylike hors d’œuvres or delicious offerings look beautiful, full, and inviting.
5. Give meaningful favors
Thanks for stopping by!