There’s a certain art to entertaining and many ways to make guests feel at home. Follow these guidelines to show guests you really care and want them to come back.
When guests come in from out of town, you want to give them the “home away from home” feeling, or, as I have seen in my friendships, the 5-star experience. How to accomplish this? Take in HOBNOB’s tips below. Also, see an entire plan for hosting weekend guests, with recipes that cut down cooking time.
Make it easy for guests to help themselves.
Keep bottles of water next to their bed, have a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table, and fill up the fridge with snacks: charcuterie, nuts, olives, cheese, nice bread and single serve drinks. Then do encourage guests to have free reign.
Cater to each person’s palate.
Sit-down dinners are proving more and more challenging these days with everyone on different eating plans, be it paleo, vegan, pescatarian, or what-have-you. Since it’s hard to keep track of everyone’s dietary preferences, the safest route is to set up a buffet with something in every category.
• Try a taco bar with an assortment of fillings—like grilled angus grass-fed beef, seared tuna, and baked sweet potatoes with lots of toppings, sauces and wraps (see our TACO BAR plan).
• Or, for winter festivities, a PASTA BAR with comfort ingredients might do the trick.
• As for drinking wine, have a few selections on hand and use a wine preservation system to keep things fresh (see our post on Savino a container that preserves wine for a week).
Be sure to stock those items you know your friends like: a favorite tea bag, gourmet coffee, those bagels from the place that always has a line, or other local delicacy that they might be missing.
Enable technical finesse.
Put out an IPad or tablet for general use, they seem to come in handy, even enhancing conversations. Have charging stations available for guests’ various gadgets. And, when it comes to watching television, most households today have quirky procedures for tuning into TV broadcasts or operating Netflix—it’s nice to have a printed step-by-step checklist to assist. (Can’t tell you how many times I have been visiting someone and could not turn off the TV, or accidentally pushed the wrong button and lost reception.)
Turn your bathroom into a spa retreat.
This is where the 5-star experience really comes into play. Of course, providing a stack of folded towels for each guest is mandatory, as well as nice soaps, shampoos, mouthwash, tissues, and toothpaste. A blow dryer and magnifying mirror is always appreciated. Scented candles work their magic in more ways than one.
Make the visit unforgettable.
Because you know what your friends like to do, make sure to have an activity scheduled for mutual enjoyment and for memories-in-the-making. Research goings-on, whether it’s museum exhibits, a trek to the local designer outlets, a special performance, or a reservation at a hot restaurant. Be sure to take photos for posterity and remember to share.