How to Be a Good Hostess

The sort of part two to How to Plan a Dinner Party.

Hosting a cocktail or dinner party isn’t as easy as inviting your friends over and hoping they serve and entertain themselves. It is a task not for the faint of heart but for the hardened veteran, trained by many nights of sneaking down from bed to steal cheese cubes without being caught by that one weird friend of your parents’. Good intentions do go a long way, but a bad host, the kind who doesn’t take care of their guests, can ruin a party. The best way to become a legendary hostess is to pay attention to what other women do when they are hosting. That way, you can emulate the qualities you appreciated and avoid the things they did that you didn’t like. Continue reading

How to Plan a Dinner Party

Tis’ the season for dinner parties! Oh how I adore throwing a perfect dinner party. The friends, the cooking, the cocktails, the table setting; I was born to throw dinner parties, but they are not as fun, easy and carefree as a good hostess makes them look. Here are my 8 steps to planning a spectacular dinner party, bon appétit and bonne chance! Continue reading

Exotic Condiments to Try at Your Next Barbecue

I love barbecue parties. Combining friends, food and the outdoors, they are quite possibly my favourite summer time activity. But by the time July rolls around, the same hamburgers, hot dogs and the occasional sausage with nothing to jazz them up but ketchup, mustard and relish start to feel a bit boring. As a host, it becomes difficult to plan a menu that will surprise and excite your friends and as a guest it becomes difficult to find new ways to compliment the same meal. The best way I have found to get around this barbecue party stimulation degradation is to prepare miniature versions of the classic fare and offer a vast array of novel, unusual or exotic toppings. This ensures that everyone can try out a few different combinations of new condiments. Continue reading