Entertaining at home should be relaxed and easy - it’s certainly my favourite way to spend time with family and friends! In our house it’s usually a pretty casual affair, but it’s those little touches that make the event extra special.

 

 

 

Set the scene.  It’s impossible not to be impressed by a lovely table setting, but it needn't be fussy or over complicated. If you’re hosting a lunch or dinner party, set your table in layers. Some like a cloth to create a base, but for a more casual setting I like to use runners and or placemats in classic colours and natural materials like cotton and linen.

Having basics like these in your collection makes sense as they're so versatile and will be easy to dress up for any occasion with pops of colour and special decorations. 

 

 

 

Planning a simple menu allows you as much time out of the kitchen as possible. Prepare a cheeseboard ahead of time and set it out in the kitchen where your guests can comfortably mingle, chat and maybe even help out while you put the finishing touches to your meal. 

 

 

 

Make a Playlist ahead of time. Music has the power to lift the mood or relax, and while I’m certainly no tech-wiz, I find putting together playlists fairly easy. If you’re not sure, get someone to help and you’ll be rewarded by not having to change the music constantly during your meal.

 

Create ambience with candles to set the mood. If you're lucky enough to have an entry table near the door, add a vase of fresh flowers or greenery and light your favourite candle. Guests will love arriving to the gorgeous fragrance and will feel immediately welcome.

 

 

 

Add a touch of luxury to your guest bathroom by burning a candle or using diffusers.  A gorgeous hand wash and a fresh hand towel will always be appreciated!

 

 

 

Remember the occasion is to relax and enjoy yourself. A flustered host certainly doesn't get the party started. Getting things done as early as you can means you can take a little time for yourself before everyone arrives.