Set the scene
Guests coming over this weekend? Save yourself a lot of time and stress the day of your party by prepping in the days leading up to it. Mow the lawn and do your grocery shop a day or two before and clean the bathroom and dining area (keeping the kids out of it as much as possible!) the morning of. This will help you avoid the last-minute rush and allow you to enjoy the whole experience. Entertaining shouldn’t be a chore!
BHG tip: If you can, set the table the night before. It will leave one less thing to do on the day!
The same goes for the food. Make as much as you can in advance, starting with the mains to allow the flavours of the meats to develop over a couple of hours. Don’t be afraid to delegate a couple of components to your guests, either. Asking someone to bring the salads or a dessert will save you valuable time and stress in the long run.
BHG tip: We’re bubbling over with recipe ideas, so click here for recipe inspiration
An unforgettable spread
A platter is a perfect accompaniment to any entertaining scene, be it a dinner party, girls’ night in or Friday afternoon drinks. To build the ultimate platter you will need to start with a large board or platter (the bigger the better!). First up, lay down your foundations, by picking crackers that complement your cheese and dip selection, and scattering them in two or three bundles on your board.
BHG tip: Kettle Flat Bread Crackers. Created with the finest all-natural ingredients in mind, Kettle’s new Flat Bread Cracker range comes in three delicious flavours - Sea Salt, Burnt Fig and Chilli Jam, which are the perfect addition to any antipasto platter. Available now in Coles.
Next up, go for a selection of soft, creamy and hard cheeses. Keep at least one as a whole wheel and the others in halves or quarters. Complement them with a couple of your favourite dips, presented in small ceramic bowls.
Finally, add colour with some seasonal fruits and vegie sticks. Don’t be afraid to layer them and have bunches of grapes cascading over the cheeses. The fuller the better.
The moodier the better
Setting the mood is a crucial part of entertaining. Create a relaxed and friendly glow with candles or fairy lights or simply use the dimmer switch. In winter, load up your common areas with cosy pillows and throws and, in summer, make the most of your outdoor area by taking some of your indoor pillows outside. Another way to add to the ambience is sound, whether it’s music playing in the background or running a water feature at night.
BHG tip: To create an atmosphere on a budget, always keep a supply of tea light candles at hand and display them in odd bits and bobs such as vases and old jars.