8 Simple Ways to Become a Great Host

8 Simple Ways to Become a Great Host

If there’s one thing we all appreciate most and remembering several years down the road is the feeling of being welcome in someone’s home. Whether it is meeting a family for the first time ever while couch surfing, or just joining a couple of locals for dinner at their place, the homely feeling is something that all of us, as human-beings, cherish. Making someone feel welcome at your home doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. The aim is to add small touches that let your guests know you care. 

Join us on the go-to guide for welcoming a guest to your home! 

  1. Provide the basic Information.


Always email and text your address, phone number, transportation information before your guest arrives. That way, they will be able to find their way to your home without getting lost.

      2. Be yourself. 

Guests aren’t expecting a perfectly immaculate house, they are at your place to build friendships and have a fun time! So do not pressure or stress yourself too much. 

      3. Let your guests be themselves.

Mean it when you say, “make yourself at home.” This is within reason, of course – don’t let manipulative people treat you like a doormat, and basic house rules must be followed.


       4. Keep it simple. 

Limit the guest list to what you are comfortable with. Choose a neutral table setting that lets your colourful centrepiece flowers pop. If you are having floral centrepieces, the rule is to keep them low enough that guests can talk over them. You don’t want your guests craning their necks just to make conversation. 

Tip for small spaces: If you don’t have a big enough dinner table to host a large gathering, bring in a folding table for the night and cover it with an elegant table cloth. 


          5. Music. 

Music is one of the easiest ways to create an ambiance for your dinner party. Keep in mind that while background music prevents awkward silences during the meal, the volume should be kept low enough that it won’t interfere with conversation. 

          6. Dinner

Make sure that you’ve asked all of your guests ahead of time if they have any food allergies or dietary restrictions. You don’t want anyone to go hungry or feel awkward refusing food. Prepare dishes that you have made before. The day of your dinner party is not the time to experiment with that elaborate soufflé recipe you saw on the Food Network. Your guests will appreciate a simple, home-cooked meal as much as something more gourmet. 

           7. Dessert.

Dessert is the best way to ensure that everyone’s night will end on a sweet note. It’s also nice to offer coffee or tea with dessert. 


           8. Relax and have fun.

Hosting a dinner party should be enjoyable for the host too. Once your guests have arrived, relax and enjoy yourself along with them. Resign yourself to the fact that dishes can be done the next morning. Tonight, enjoy the good company, delightful ambiance, and delicious food you put so much work into. Or, take up a guest’s offer to wash. Grateful guests are truly happy to help.

Tell us your experience of hosting a guest for a meal at home!

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5 Quick ‘n Easy Dinner Party Tips

5 Quick ‘n Easy Dinner Party Tips

1. Practice Makes Perfect!

About a couple of weeks prior to your dinner party, stage a dinner rehearsal by preparing the dishes that you have planned for the party menu. This will help you to have an accurate gauge of the time you will need to cook the food. It is also a good chance for you to give the items a final round of taste test, and to make changes to the flavours and recipe if necessary.  

2. Create A D.I.Y. Bar

A D.I.Y. bar is a great feature to add to your house dinner party. Provide a selection of drinks, liquors, flavours, garnishes and basic mixology equipment, and let your guests have fun mixing up their own drinks!

There are several pros to doing this. You will not have to spend the night making one drink after another, guests can create their own unique concoctions, and it serves as a great ice-breaking spot for your guests to mix and mingle around.

3. Start Food Preparations in Advance

Rushing back from work to start preparations for an evening weekday dinner party can be quite a crazy affair. If you are planning to invite a fairly large group of people, it is likely that you will be waging a tough fight against time to prepare the dishes!

This problem can be fixed by making tweaks to the menu to include dishes that can be prepared as early as a week beforehand. Think pies (bake the crust a few days before), braised meat dishes (cook this a day in advance, set aside the cooking juices to chill in the fridge, and reheat the meat on the day of the party) and simple pasta salads.


4. Turn Brown Paper Bags Into Menus!

Apart from being a pretty sight, brown paper bag menus also serve as a budget-friendly party decor item.

You can also use the paper bag to serve your starters (like a yummy serving of piping hot chips!), to help you cut down on the number of dishes to wash after the dinner party is over.

If you are hooked on this idea, be sure to check this  article out for tips on making your own paper bag menu!

5. Transform Muffin Trays into Gorgeous Centerpieces

With some simple touches. your plain ol’ muffin trays can be transformed into gorgeous centerpieces!

You may place pretty tealights or insert vibrant blooms and miniature plants into the indents of the tray. If you would like to have a fancy centerpiece for a posh dinner party, fill up the indents with water, and place a mix of flowers and tealights in the tray. You will end up with a charming centerpiece containing floating flowers and flickering candlelights!

Image credits: HGTV, Cakebossbaking, Eco-beautiful Weddings, Legcloud, Atelier Christine


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Top 10 Dinner Party Hacks

Top 10 Dinner Party Hacks

As you very well know, here at BonAppetour we love a great dinner party!

Our hosts have the most and are always eager to ensure all guests are comfortable, satisfied with delish food and generally having a good time. But for those out there who regularly host dinner parties; whether they’re with friends, family, neighbours, travellers or your postman, sometimes you just need a kick of inspiration to jazz up your dinner presentation!

You’ve slaved over your stove to whip up the best for your guests, but are you wanting to add a little somethin’ somethin’ to make the whole experience a touch more special? There are so many great websites full of tips out there in the world of the web, from the amazing A Beautiful Mess to the hilarious BuzzFeed Life, but here’s a few tips that we love. Not only are they easy to do, but they’ll help make your dinner the talk of the town!

1. Menu: Why not write your menu on a brown paper bag and fill it with bread. It’ll make a nibble that also lets your guests know what to expect during the eve! Other ideas could be writing them on some ornate paper and then wrap it around the cutlery and/or napkins.

2. Ice: So you’re making cocktails, but want a bit of pizazz with the fresh citrus that you’re adding? Wow your guests by freezing lemon and lime wedges that they can drop them into cocktails or soft drinks. A refreshing yet chilling addition!

3. Lighting: Atmospheric lighting is key to an intimate dinner party. Obviously you want to still be able to see your plate and the person opposite you, so to keep it lit but not light, try long white candles in cleaned empty wine bottles. Jam jars also make trendy holders which won’t blow out in the breeze, or pop a tea light in an apple to get a lovely scent in the air!

4. Glasses: Talking of jam jars, why not serve up your cocktails in these lovely containers? Not only do they have wide bases that’ll avoid spillages, but you’re thinking green and recycling. If you’re tired of everyone mixing up their glasses, get some chalkboard paint and coat the top of the wine glass base. You can then chalk on your guests names, et voila!

5. DIY Dessert: We love desserts here at BonAppetour, but if you’re running low on time,  delicious can also be quick and easy! It’s pretty easy to melt down a hunk of chocolate for your guests and lay out strawberries, marshmallows, banana – whatever you can think of! It’s a great way to get your hands dirty and your sweet tooth satisfied.

6. Cocktail Hour: If you host many gatherings at your home, you may end up with quite an extensive collection of spirits and bottles. One way to make it presentable would be to arrange them nicely on a vintage cart on wheels so you can ferry it around to your guests. Or if you really know how to shake it, why not teach your party how to make your favourite cocktail altogether? What a way to learn and drink – fingers crossed that you end up with something that you can stomach…

7. Fresh Mocktails: Alcoholic beverages aren’t for everyone, especially if you have to drive afterwards. But you don’t have to serve generic coke and lemonade to these teetotal guests! If you have a juicer, whip up some delicious and healthy fresh juice mocktails and smoothies to keep them sipping away!

8. Al Fresco Dining: Are you lucky enough to have the sun peeping out where you live? Are you experiencing delightfully balmy evenings and stunning sunsets? Move your dinner party outside to give your guests a unique experience. It’ll make it truly memorable, just like our BonAppetour host in Rome, Susanna!

9. Comfort: With people in your home, you kind of want it to look pretty great! But it doesn’t mean you have to go out and purchase expensive decorations to add flair. Why not be as simple as popping some pretty or fancy cushions on the seats to add comfort and colour! If you’re feeling a bit crafty, whip up some easy cushion covers that can be your go-to dining cushions…. Also, they’d be perfect for future picnics!

10. Cork stoppers: If you are having plentiful wine at your dinners but are bored of the generic bottle corks, why not add a bit of glamour to your wine stopper? The ladies at A Beautiful Mess have a tutorial showing how to attach crystals and mineral rocks to the stoppers, making them easy to handle and great to look at.

Which dinner party hack are you going to try? Do you have any great tips as well? Let us know by tweeting us!

Image Credits: That’s So Yummy, Hymns and Verses, Recipe Mash, Squarespace, Bellamere

3 Handy D.I.Y. Gift Ideas – Ready in a Snap!

3 Handy D.I.Y. Gift Ideas - Ready in a Snap!

Have you been invited to a dinner party by a welcoming host, but have no idea about the types of gifts you can bring over to their party to show your appreciation?

Fret not – we’ve done a dinner party research (on your behalf), and present you three quick and easy D.I.Y. gift ideas that you can prepare for your hosts when you attend your next dinner party!

1. Homemade Brownie Mix

We’ve had the experience of biting into brownie squares made from store-bought brownie mix that are either cloyingly sweet, or contain a faint chemical aftertaste. With homemade mixes, you can alter the amount of sugar added to suit different taste buds, and eliminate the use of chemical preservatives often found in commercial products.

Why not surprise your hosts by throwing together a homemade brownie mix prepared specially for them? Attach a handwritten recipe on the label of your brownie mix to add a personalised touch to your gift.

2. Homemade Extracts

Food extracts are handy ingredients in any home cook’s kitchen, for they can be added to give a flavourful kick to baked treats. Bottles of extracts sitting prettily on the kitchen counter also serve as decorative kitchen ornaments, adding on bright pops of colour to your kitchen.

You will need to plan ahead if you want to prepare homemade extracts for your hosts, as these extracts need to sit for a minimum period of two to four weeks, before they are ready for use.

3. D.I.Y. Bath Bombs

Everyone loves a leisurely and luxurious soak in the tub. Try delighting your hosts by making an aromatic selection of homemade bath bombs for them!

We have a tip – do not dispose of old miniature muffin pans, for they can be used to prepare these bath bombs. You can package these bath bombs in pretty glass jars when they have solidified, and tie colourful strings of ribbons around the opening of the jar.

Seeking home-dining experiences or home-made meals in exotic locations around the world? We’ll help you out!

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