Whilst we're grateful that the hot weather has decided to stick around, we're also trying to navigate one summer feat: entertaining in small spaces.
(That said, we're definitely not complaining about the warmer weather!)
Thankfully, Alex Head, CEO & Founder of Social Pantry is on hand to give us her top tips for making it work - regardless of the size of the space.
1. Preparation is KEY!
When your entertaining space is limited, I’d always advise preparing your food in advance so that on the night, it’s just a matter of warming through and applying any finishing touches.
This way, you’ll have more time to enjoy being a host too. Cooking dishes you’re familiar with means you actually relax and can spend time with your friends on the evening.
A one-pot dish for dining in small spaces is a MUST and won’t leave you with a stack of pans to wash up.
By doing one or two main sharing dishes, it avoids any stressful plating up scenarios in the kitchen. Serve with seasonal salads and a good loaf of sourdough bread (or if you’re really organised, a home baked loaf) and you’re onto a winning menu.
Using a flowerpot in the middle of the table is a great way to display the cutlery; this keeps it simple yet stylish.
Having a water jug on the table is a must for me and by putting some stalks of mint in, it’s also a cost effective way to really help style your table.
Stack a pile of plates in the middle of your table with some napkins and let your guests choose their seat, get cosy and get stuck in.
Make sure your guests are prepped on the rule of the evening... one glass only per person. Get a little creative and attach a fun nametag to each vessel to make everyone feel extra special.
Bringing the outside in is very “in” and there’s plenty of hanging planters that you can buy that won’t take up precious space.
Keep your ‘bar’ separate... strategically position a drinks station (or trolley if you have one spare!) away from the kitchen.
You’ll definitely thank me later for this little tip, as when the pressure is on to get dinner on the table, it’ll be super helpful to avoid having any bottlenecks in the kitchen.
And to make things even easier, Alex has picked out her favourite pieces from French Connection Home to get you started: