Take the Cake: Bite-sized Inspiration for the Savvy Baker

How to be the Perfect Host(ess)

You’ve laid the table, refilled the snack bowls and stocked the kitchen. What ties your party together is the hosting – the proverbial icing on the cake. It can be a stressful job. After all, everybody wants to pull off the perfect night. To help you through it, we’ve put together a quick list of tips guaranteed to make your event, be it a dinner party, cocktail party or afternoon tea, an occasion to remember.

Preparation is key. If any task, be it food or décor, can be completed beforehand – do it! It’ll make your life easier and the night is guaranteed to run much smoother.

For example, if you are making a specialty cocktail, make a big batch of it before the party starts and have it on hand, rather than having to mix a new one each time.

When preparing your menu pre-party, tailor it to the type of event you’re hosting.  If you are hosting a cocktail party where you’ll want to spend most of the time talking to guests, try to minimize your kitchen time as much as possible.  Even having to heat things up in an oven can too often pull you away from your guests.  Things like cheese plates, crostinis that can be served cold, and shrimp cocktail are great items that don’t require any oversight (other than potentially refilling) during a party. If you are hosting a dinner party, then of course some time in the kitchen is inevitable.

Lay out your food and drink in a way that makes it accessible to guests and doesn’t create a bottleneck in a certain area of your home. Often, separating the areas for food and drink works well, or even having two bar areas(for example, one area for cocktails, another for wine and beer) is a great way to spread people out.

Whether it’s jazz or upbeat pop, make sure the decibel level allows for easy conversation but also allows dancing if the night calls for it.

Always have more food and drink than necessary. Your guests will arrive hungry and thirsty, and an empty bar is unlikely to ease the pain. Scrambling around at the last minute for extras is an added stress you don’t need.  Plus, any drinks and non-perishable food that aren’t consumed can be saved for other occasions!

Don’t forget to stock your bar area(s) with ice.  It always helps to have a bag of ice in the freezer if you don’t have a fridge with an automatic ice maker.  Cocktail napkins are another must that people sometimes forget.  Plus, make sure you have extra paper towels on hand in the closet in case there are any spills during the party.

Music is essential to any great party. Whether it’s jazz or upbeat pop, make sure the decibel level allows for easy conversation but also allows dancing if the night calls for it.

Lighting is the key to creating the right ambiance. Depending on the size of your fete, adjust the number of candles, tea lights, or string lights to create the perfect party glow.  Dim lighting with lots of candles always makes a cocktail party sexier.  At a dinner party, keep things a little lighter so that people can see what they are eating.

Greet your guests and get them a drink as soon as they walk in the door. They’ll instantly feel more comfortable, helping to create that relaxing atmosphere. Don’t forget to pour yourself a glass too! Also, it always helps to make a quick introduction among your guests, particularly as the party is starting.  You can explain to them how you know each other, tell them something they have in common, or just share an interesting fact to get the conversation going.

Finally, remember the most important person on the guest list – you!

You’re the centerpiece of this gathering. Your mood determines the party’s. So don’t stress too much, and certainly don’t coop yourself up in the kitchen with the dishes. Make sure you have a wonderful time and enjoy your hard work, you earned it!

Visit Red Velvet NYC

Written by
No comments