I recently attended a tea party and it got me thinking about how important it is to be a good host as much as it is to be a good guest. (In my next blog post, I will be writing about ‘guest etiquette’). Certain aspects, I couldn’t help but notice were: as we entered the hostess’ house, the caterers had just started arranging the tables and chairs outside. After we were seated, there were three variants of starters along with a soup, served to us (which were delicious); however, they were served rather late; with each starter served after a long period of time from the previous one. There was a main course served too, which had a bake and a savory pie. There was a dessert which wasn’t even kept on the table. Only after someone asked for it, did the caterers serve it.
The hostess, was quite clueless about things and there wasn’t any beverage served. This made me realize, how important it is to plan things in advance before inviting people over.
Right from childhood, it has been ingrained in me, the importance of hosting a party; as my parents used to socialize a lot and we would be hosting many of their friends at our place. Each and every detail used to be taken into consideration. From the guests’ food preferences (if they were allergic to anything), alcohol / non alcoholic beverage preferences, the cuisine, the theme and the décor.
Here are my learnings with regard to hosting a party:
• Start planning the party well in advance (at least a month prior)
• While inviting the guests, do check their food preferences (allergies to certain food types if there are any), as well their beverage preferences (alcoholic and non alcoholic)
• Make sure you get their RSVP (confirmation of attendance)
• If you are employing caterers, provide the approximate number of guests (5 -10 numbers more to ensure that the food doesn’t fall short if it’s a small group of people)
• On the day of the party, all the arrangements regarding the chairs and tables (décor), need to be arranged a few hours before the party
• The caterers should have arrived at least two hours before the onset of the party and the food should be ready to be served
• For a few things that need to be prepared at the venue and served hot, the preparations should take place in advance
• Make sure that when the guests arrive, they are served with a drink of their choice
• The starters should always be served hot, and from time to time to all the guests
• The main course may be served after an hour or two based on the guests’ preferences (some might want to eat early)
• As a host, it is important to walk around and meet all the guests and ensure that they are well looked after (with their drinks re filled)
• It is important to urge the guests to eat well and ask if they have eaten and if they would like anything more
• When the guests are leaving make sure, that they are seen off
A good party always goes a long way especially when it is hosted well. Follow the above tips and make a lasting impression amongst your friends and acquaintances..