How To Impress Guests

When you’re hosting guests, whether difficult in-laws staying for the weekend or friends coming to a dinner party, you want to impress them as soon as they arrive. Here’s how to do it. 

Give A Great First Impression

First impressions are important, so make sure that the first place your guests come to, your front door, is inviting and spotless. You can do this in a few different ways. Arrange some pot plants around the front door, add a pretty welcome mat, make sure the front step is clean, or hang a wreath from the front door. You could try a few or all of these ideas. 

This can also be a good way to show off your decor taste. For example, adding some colorful pot plants instantly gives the impression that your house is a fun and light-hearted place. 

Create A Welcoming Entrance

You want to make a great first impression on your guests, and this first impression reaches the moment that your guests first step inside. You want to make them feel at home as soon as you can. 

Make sure you have an area ready where your guests can put down any small items they’re carrying, like the keys or a wallet, and still have easy access to them later on if they need them. If you like your guests to take off their shoes, put a shoe rack or box in your entranceway for shoes to be stored in. For coats and jackets, make sure you have a wardrobe that your guests can easily access without having to ask you to get them for them. 

For another welcoming touch, add some fresh flowers or a scented diffuser. 

Offer Beverages And Snacks

If you ever stay in fancy hotels, you will know that one of the first things you’re offered is a drink or a small snack. This is part of how hotels welcome guests, and it works. It is especially well-received by guests who have traveled a long way. 

Offer drinks soon after people arrive, and something light to eat. If you want to really impress, choose a snack with wow factor. You can buy caviar online, for example, for something really special. 

Show your guests where to find drinks and snacks too, so they can get them later themselves. 

Show Them Their Rooms

No matter how close you are with your family or friends, a lot of us prefer to have our own space, whether only for a few minutes or as a retreat if things get busy or noisy. Your guests feel no different. 

Show your guests to their rooms soon after they arrive, if they’ll be staying with you. If you don’t have a spare room and your guest will be sleeping on the sofa, at least show them where they can put their luggage. 

Make sure your guests know where the bathrooms are. Set out towels for them, and do things like showing them the shower works if it’s tricky. 

How to Host a Dinner Party

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

As I get older, I love the idea of throwing a dinner party. A dinner party is one of the most delightful things when it comes to hosting. We get to cook food we love for the people we love. You can get creative too. You might want to design a whole 28-course tasting menu or keep it stripped back and simple with a delicious bacon-wrapped filet mignon and herbed potatoes. 

It really all comes down to the company, but being a great host isn’t just about serving up delectable dishes. So here are some quick tips for pulling off the perfect dinner party. 

People

You want to ensure that you have a conversation that flows freely all evening. This means you’ll need to pay careful attention to who you are inviting. There are some friend groups that don’t mix, and others that have a firecracker who can talk about anything. Make the decision based on who makes you smile, and you can’t go far wrong. 

Food

Most groups of people will have one or two dietary requirements. Try to keep that in mind when you are preparing your menu. Almost all dishes can be made for vegetarians, vegans, and those with intolerances and allergies. It is a small and thoughtful step in your preparation. 

Space

If you don’t have a natural cleaning schedule, then a few days before your dinner party, it’s time to prep the space. Your home doesn’t need to be as picture-perfect as a show home, because this is all about spending time together. But, spending some time cleaning up and decluttering anyway. Think about where people will gather after the meal. Is there enough toilet paper and hand soap in the bathrooms? 

Double-check you have all of your pots, pans, and enough cutlery for all of your guests. You can even set these out the day before, streamlining it all will make cooking even more enjoyable. 

Seating 

You might not have to even think about this. Depending on your friends, they might be happy to sit anywhere. If you, however, have people meeting for the first time, or there is a mix of personalities, you can spend some time creating seating placement cards. Most people will like to sit with someone that they know. However, you can mix it up and have fun with the seating. 

Relax

When you are hosting, it is tempting to stay standing, serving, and busy all evening taking care of your guests. Simply watching all of your hard work pay off, and people enjoy themselves. However, even when you serve yourself last, make sure you take your seat and join in with the conversations that are happening. Be part of the moment, as well as facilitate it. 

And finally, once the meal is over, it is likely that people will offer to help you clean up. Accept the offer of helping to tidy up, as it can be a thank you for the effort that you have put in.