How to throw a successful last-minute get together

How to throw a successful last-minute get together

Got friends and family who like to give you just 10 minutes’ notice before they

Got friends and family who like to give you just 10 minutes’ notice before they descend on your home? Always be prepared with our five tips…

Given plenty of time, most of us can throw a good party, but it’s those impromptu gatherings that really put a host to the test.

Whether you have a partner who likes to spontaneously invite friends over, or your children are prone to showing up with the kids at a moment’s notice, you want to be ready to welcome them with open arms, especially when it’s increasingly rare you’re all together.

A cleverly stocked kitchen and some simple preparation tricks mean you’ll be able to entertain whoever may call without the stress, so you can relax and enjoy their company.

Do a quick clean around

Of course you keep your home in a good state most of the time anyway, so a 10-minute clean up should get your house party ready. Keep a well-stocked carry case of everyday cleaning materials to hand – such as polish, a duster and a bottle of Fairy Platinum to do a quick whizz around and wash up last night’s dishes.

Focus on the areas where guests will spend most of their time, such as the living room, kitchen and bathroom (just close the bedroom doors so no one can see if there’s a mess in there!). For a speedy tidy, pop any clutter into a seagrass basket, or similar, and tuck it away before everyone arrives.

Pour the wine

Ensuring you always have tea, coffee and milk is a given – but make sure you have a few bottles of nice wine and an emergency box of beer hidden away to offer those unexpected guests, too. This would make good use of that second fridge you may have in the garage. Or, if it’s not possible to keep the bottles chilled, keep a bag of ice on hand in the freezer for a quick cool down.

Keep the grandkids snack-happy

A box of microwaveable popcorn is a must – simply pop, add some butter and mix for a delicious, pleasing snack your grandchildren will love. If you are used to having family turn up with a day’s notice, homemade cakes keep well in the freezer as long as they are un-iced.

Having a cleverly stocked pantry and fridge will ensure your unexpected guests don’t go home hungry. Posh crackers and nibbles, a few jars of olives, artichokes and peppers and some olive tapenade are great store cupboard essentials and make a delicious antipasti platter. This also makes a great starter if you’re hosting a last-minute dinner party.

Add a little ambience

Create a warm and inviting atmosphere by lighting some beautifully scented candles. Plus having one in the bathroom means people will be distracted by how lovely the candle is and so hopefully won’t notice that the bath needs a scrub.

Keep flowering plants around the house so you have a ready-made centrepiece whenever you need it. Also create a background music playlist on your phone or tablet, ready to plug into your stereo and set the mood.

Go al-fresco

The beauty of having a nice garden is that you can happily host everyone outside, and not worry about the state of your house – or the state it might get into!

When the weather warms up, prepare for any impromptu parties by making sure the barbecue is clean and you have coal, wood or gas ready to go. To make light work of cleaning the grills, run them through the dishwasher with Fairy Platinum Dishwasher Tablets, which are specially designed to cut through even the toughest grease.

Also, give any pieces of garden furniture a good clean and put covers on them so you don’t need to worry about seating.

If you often end up entertaining in the garden, why not consider getting an outdoor pizza oven? They are easy to use, and the grandkids will love making their own pizzas for dinner. The dough can be frozen so you will always have some on hand. Just keep a jar of tomato pizza sauce in the cupboard and the toppings can be anything you have in the fridge.

What are your top tips for entertaining last-minute guests? Let us know in the comments section below.

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