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Party Hosting? Be a Fabulous Host

Having the friends or family over for some wining and dining? Be a host with the most by reading our helpful, ten-point guide to being a fabulous host.

Having friends over is great, and when you're the party host, you want to ensure that your guests not only have a great time, but want them talking about your dinner party for weeks to come. Ultimately, you want your guests begging for more…

When you invite your friends over, ensure that you give them simple instructions such as time and place and also let them know if you expect them to bring anything. Guests will generally ask if they can bring anything along, but if they don't, make sure you let them know if they have to bring their own food, bar, etc.

Be prepared
Preparation is everything when it comes to successful entertaining. Ensure that your home is clean, that you have enough cutlery, crockery and glassware for your guests, ensure you have lots of drinks (even more than you need), and most importantly, that you have enough food.

Always confirm with your guests whether or not they will be coming and also find out if they are bringing a partner with them. This will help you determine catering numbers, so that you can make a good impression.

Super clean key rooms
Although your whole house should be neat and tidy, key rooms include the rooms that your guests will be utilizing. The bathroom is the number one room; make sure it's clean and tidy, that you have enough toilet paper and soap and that you have fresh towels.

Know your guests' food preferences
The meal is the focal point of the party. After all, it's what brought everyone together, right? Make the most of it by first and foremost ensuring you have asked your guests if they have any food allergies. The last thing you want is to make a meal that they are not going to eat.

Prepare the meal
Secondly, you should try to prepare as much of the meal as possible in advance. Things like chopping; measuring out ingredients and pre-cooking can all be done ahead of time. Lasagne is a great party dish, because you can prepare 90% of it in advance, and then just cook it in the oven when your guests arrive.

Children at dinner parties
Children need to be considered at dinner parties. If you and your friends have kids, it may be a good idea to rent some DVD's or Playstation games to keep them occupied. Stock up on snacks that they will enjoy and will keep them happy, but try to remember too much sugar will probably make them go a little overboard.

Decide what you are going to do with regard to your pets, especially if you are going to have an outdoor dinner party. Your pets may become overwhelmed with all your guests and lick and jump on them, which some of your guests may not appreciate. Take that into consideration when planning your party.

Set the table
Don't leave the table setting for last. If you are having a dinner party, make sure you set the table before your guests arrive. Ensure you have enough space and that you have put all the necessary items on the table (salt, pepper, napkins, etc). You may want to make your table setting stand out by adding candles and a lovely centrepiece to create a more magical experience.

Parking spaces
These need to be considered ahead of time. If you live in a town house or flat, ensure you have made the necessary parking arrangements ahead of time.

If you are giving guests directions to your home, ensure that you are being clear and concise in your instructions. It may be a good idea to travel the route and make notes of landmarks and street names.

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