The summer months are prime entertaining months! I love nothing more than throwing a party for a group of friends and especially if it’s nice weather so that the doors can be opened right up, the cocktails can flow and no one is shivering in the corner! My next book that I’ve started writing this week has a huge focus on entertaining and I thought I’d share a few tips about entertaining that I’ve learnt from parties I’ve thrown for friends as well as parties I’ve thrown for clients over the years. These photos are from my 31st birthday at the end of last year. PINK PINK PINK!!
PARTY FOR THE SENSES
- TASTE – Probably one of the most important elements of hosting, what to serve! Determining a food theme will help you work out what to serve your guests, or help you delegate certain dishes to the guests to bring. I’m a huge fan of serving giant cheeseboards that people can graze from. If you aren’t known for your cooking skills you could always outsource and get takeaway that you then dish up in beautiful platters for your guests to help themselves to.
- SIGHT – What sort of theme is your party? Typically mine feature some level of pink! Working out your style theme will help you to decide what props you need for the table to fit the theme. Make sure your party is properly lit too, if your event is running into the evening you’ll need to account for adequate lighting. The is a great option for lighting your outdoor area all year round.
- SMELL – Food helps with this one but lighting candles also helps to add to the aroma of the room and in the evenings adds a nice warm glow too. I always burn a couple of different candles on the table and around the room as well as in the bathroom and on the kitchen bench.
- TOUCH – What will your guests be sitting on? Will it be cooler later in the evening? Thinking about the temperature and preparing ahead of time won’t go unnoticed if the weather changes. We installed the IXL Fresco Aurora prior to Christmas in our outdoor area and it came in handy not only to light the area at night but also to warm us up when it got a bit cool for a few days after Christmas. It doesn’t get as hot as a mushroom gas heater but it definitely takes the edge off and allowed us to sit outside a lot longer than if we were out there without heating.
- SOUND – Party tunes are a must! Or if you’re aiming for a more relaxed vibe, some nice atmospheric music is a nice touch. No one wants to sit in silence at a dinner party with people they don’t know very well and try to make small talk that the entire table can hear. Soft background music is a nice filler. I like to create Spotify playlists before the event and just have these playing throughout the evening.
I was generously gifted the IXL Fresco Aurora to test out just prior to Christmas. I installed it at the family property in the Hunter Valley as that was where we were having a big family Christmas. We tend to entertain all year round in the outdoor area (even when it’s freezing outside we still gravitate towards the outdoor entertaining area) so we were keen to test it out and it is a great gadget that will get a tonne of use. There are various coloured light options and we can control the light with our phones so while we’re out doing things on the property at dusk we can turn the heater and light on back at the house and be toasty warm when we sit down for the day.
The IXL Fresco Aurora retails for $1,499 and is available to purchase
I’d love to know what some of your favourite tips are for entertaining. I’m always looking to simplify the process for myself as I always tend to over-cater and over-decorate!