Do you ever feel lost when trying to host a dinner party? Not sure what to do or where to be or even what to serve?
A fabulous hostess does not need to make a soufflé or a rack of lamb to earn kudos for her entertaining prowess. Au contraire. A fabulous hostess is known for how she interacts with her guests much more than how much work she has put into her food.
1. Mix up the guest list. Don’t just invite the people who know one another. Throw in a few new faces to enliven the conversation and put some sizzle in the room.
2. Always introduce guests to one another with a laudatory introduction. Make sure you include pertinent information such as a hobby or a passionate interest to get the conversation rolling. Tooting someone’s horn is a great way to let your guests know how you feel about them.
3. A great get-together is not dependent on great food. Keep it simple: potato chips, unsalted pistachios and either guacamole or salsa with chips for the hors d’oeuvres. (Grown-ups adore the potato chips – it reminds them of earlier days when they weren’t counting carbs.)
4. A fabulous hostess does not retreat to the kitchen to prepare the main course and leave her guests unattended. Your presence is what counts. Order in some gourmet pizzas or spicy Thai food and relax.
5. If you spot a guest looking a bit lost because of shyness or awkwardness, take them in hand and stay with them till they feel more secure. A fabulous hostess is always sweeping the room, making sure everyone is at ease.
6. If you’re an early riser and the party is going on too long, don’t use passive/aggressive tricks to get people to leave. A fabulous hostess will just say it: “Guys, I’m getting up at 5:00 tomorrow morning. I’d love you to stay but I have to hit the sack.” Your guests will appreciate your honesty over glazed eyes and irritated glances at your watch.
It doesn’t take hours in the kitchen slaving over the perfect 5-course meal to be fabulous when playing the role of hostess – it just takes your attention in the moment.