How to Entertain at Home

It's that time of year where the invites roll in thick and fast. When it all gets a bit too much, why not start to decline second-rate events and...

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It’s that time of year where the invites roll in thick and fast. When it all gets a bit too much, why not start to decline second-rate events and then make it a rule where all your summer socialising takes place in the comfort of your own home? If you want something done right then do it yourself, right? Someone who knows the recipe for hosting better dinner parties, house parties, cocktail parties and games nights, is Donnet Dumas who, having turned her love of feeding people into a profession, (Donnet is behind the Skinny Legs brand) hasn’t stopped doing the same in her downtime. Use Donnet’s tips and tricks to streamline things this silly season, throw better parties, keep your guests happy, and play host with the most.
You don’t need to call yourself a mixologist in order to muddle a couple of cocktails. A bucket of ice, some garnishes, a few spirits, more mixer options and the right glass will always be better than flaring. Any get-together is an occasion, so remember to toast – and say something inspiring, kind or heartfelt to get everyone in the mood to drink.
If you want to drink lots of booze you need to eat lots of food. Whether it’s influential Foodstagrammers running lucrative #foodporn accounts or simply someone who likes to share a gatsby with their 857 followers, everyone photographs their food these days. Because Donnet can appreciate how the right setting makes for as much of an experience as what’s on the plate, she says that her best summer entertaining tip is to let the outdoors in. “Even if you open up your balcony and serve the drinks there, or try invest in a small charcoal braai and use that, it will make a big difference.” Then make sure that nobody ever goes without by having snacks all over, all day, and don’t just focus on the food for the main event, use these mini-courses to steer people to where you want them to be, like the balcony, or closer to the kitchen so that you have someone to talk to while you prep the main.
If there’s a game on, and you’ve invited people to come watch it at your house then obviously the TV needs to be on. However, once it’s done the TV should be turned off because we spend enough of our lives staring at a screen. Why not try board games? If they tend to bring out the worst in your guests then perhaps a less conflicting form of entertainment is to allow your guests to play DJ and spin some records. Remember that drinking games can be incorporated into everything from cards to dominos to taking turns playing different records and having to guess the band or song titles, so depending on what type of night you want – bring out those shot glasses. Instead of serving dessert straight after dinner you should give your food time to settle, and bring out bowls of different sweet options when the games begin. 
Donnet’s other summer hosting tips include inviting the right people, and says that you should…“Invite a few people who you know really well, who are really comfortable in your home, and who you can rely on to help with some of the hosting duties. There’s an art to making people feel welcome and I like to involve guests when they arrive by pointing out where everything is and then telling them to help themselves. They shouldn’t feel like anything is precious and should be made to feel at home.”
See the original article by Donnet Dumas here.