Practicing hospitality at home. Starting with a friends birthday.
Previous to COVID, I hosted dinner parties about once a year in my home. True that I did enjoy hosting them but I never quite realized just how special they can be. When you go to a restaurant, you are at the mercy of the waiting staff and cook to provide your experience. Countless times, I personally have been disappointed by either the service or the food. And sometimes both!
Whereas when you host at home, you are in control of the entire affair. The ambiance, food and even the service. You of course will be responsible for planning the service portion of the evening. But if planned right, it is not as much of burden as you might think.
A good friends birthday was coming up and the weather outside was beautiful. I decided on a simple lunch in the backyard. We were in the midst of COVID and my choices were limited.
On the menu was my Easy Blueberry Tart, and for the meal I kept it simple as well. With a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and a potato salad. It was then that I recognized the fact that it wasn’t about the food necessarily or even the fact that this lunch was not at a restaurant. It is the effort we provide to the people in our lives that makes things memorable. It is all in the details that makes the difference.
Starting with the food.
When you host at home whether you cook the food or buy store bought. The presentation of the food matters. Place the items on a nice serving dish or even a pretty plate. I also find using my cake stand for the dessert, placed near or on the table is a nice touch.
Always set the table.
This not only provides for a great way to wow your guests but it is also quite practical.
When you set the table everyone has what they need and no one is asking where to grab a fork or napkin. For this particular lunch we were eating outside. I grabbed a tablecloth and cut some fresh lavender from my garden. Then placed it on our napkins as sort of a keepsake and added beauty to the table.
Little Touches Count
Flowers are always placed at the center but they don’t need to be a large overwhelming bouquet. A few cut flowers from a rose bush or even small grocery store bouquet works nicely. Since this was a birthday I decided to hand a HBD banner on the fence near her gift. It is small things like this that I believe make people feel loved and important.
When you first bring people into your home, think simple. It can be overwhelming trying to serve up a fancy meal to a large group of friends. I suggest starting with a few guests maybe even just one or two at first. Host a lunch on a weekend afternoon. Set a pretty table and invite them over for a chicken salad, or an array of heavy appetizers from the store. I promise you, it doesn’t take much but the small effort is totally worth doing.