Hosting impromptu gatherings for friends and family is something I truly enjoy, but when time is short it can often seem all too difficult. My secret to making it happen is to keep the food simple and have a stash of entertaining goodies on hand.




The cheat’s way to getting the house ready in a flash is to whip around with a broom, stash the clutter, and make sure the powder room is clean. Fresh soap and hand towels are a must. Keep some just for guests and pop a few flowers into a bud vase near the sink. If the place smells good too, it’s an added bonus. I use diffusers around the house generally and keep a few candles to burn just before guests arrive.




When hosting a gathering, I tend to get side-tracked and forget to get myself ready, so my advice is to have a clean apron on hand. An apron will help to keep you tidy until guests arrive. My current favourite is my navy blue Brittany apron, which is actually smart enough that I don’t mind if I’m caught out when the door bell rings.




Have everything you need for your table on hand and ready to go. A good salad bowl, servers and napkins are essential. While paper napkins have their place, I can’t go past cotton. These ones are generous and soft and add a welcome splash of colour to any table. For summer entertaining, blue is always a hit!




A cheese board is a go-to in my house for entertaining, with a good set of cheese knives to match! Use a wide flat knife for hard cheese like cheddar or parmesan, a long, thin knife for semi-hard cheese like Gouda or Swiss, and the pointed knife for spreading soft cheese like brie or stilton. Don’t forget that it’s all in the presentation! A beautiful board for bread or crackers alongside your cheese plate will make all the difference. My current favourite is a heart-shaped board made from recycled elm.




If you’re not hosting and are a guest yourself, a small hostess gift to show your thanks never goes astray. A lovely coffee table book or a candle will always be welcome and well-used!




Circa Home are currently giving away an Entertaining Prize Pack with everything you’ll need to create the perfect gathering in your home! The prize pack contains a selection of Circa Home candles, diffusers, hand wash and wax melts, as well as pick of things to help you prepare for entertaining at home, including my favourite Brittany linen apron, 8x water drop napkins, the Miller cheese knife set and elm heart board, and a signed copy of my book, ‘Home’.




For your chance to win, simply purchase your favourite Circa Home product online at or at participating retailers. You’ll then need to jump online to to before midnight on 31 August 2017 and enter your details. Good luck!