Entertaining should be all about the hostess. We entertain to amuse ourselves not prove ourselves, and the hostess reigns supreme. She is the queen of the occasion, and queens don’t risk a hangnail or a stress-induced headache from slaving over a hot stove. They make things easy on themselves and exude elegance and grace (at least until they fall down after too many Martinis).
If your social life is less-than-sparkling, but the idea of hosting a party makes you break out in hives, then Babe Scott is here to help. Australian-born author and bon vivant Scott introduces domestically challenged drudges to the world of no-fuss, come-hither hospitality in her new book, The Lazy Hostess.
Here Babe Scott, aka The Lazy Hostess reveals her five secrets to stress free entertaining. Follow these tips to ensure a wrinkle-free night (and hostess):
1. Recruit a Friend to Help Cook: There is nothing scarier than cooking solo, especially when you don’t know your left elbow from an artichoke. Recruit a friend with culinary talents to be your kitchen co-pilot. This way you will have someone with whom you can tell tall stories, share a tipple and taste test dishes. Your friend can also teach you her tips and tricks, like making sure the oven is turned on.
2. Pre-Plan the Evening: Prepare everything you can ahead of time to ensure you have plenty of time to primp and preen on the day. After all, you don’t want to be upstaged by the hors d’oeuvres. Also make sure you have enough partyware and toe-tapping tunes to go the distance. Or check out the Cocktail Party 999 section in The Lazy Hostess for an instant, just-add-vodka party plan.
3. Delegate Like a True Diva: Avail yourself of any talents your friends possess. I have friends who have made a lifestyle out of living off other people’s largesse so I think it only fair they sing for their supper. Delegate the roll of official photographer, musicologist, decorator… you get the drift. People love showing off their talents. Just make sure you applaud their efforts with a special toast.
4. Serve a Signature Cocktail: A signature cocktail is de rigueur. It relaxes guests right off the bat, puts them in the party mood and adds a dash of pizzazz. Make up a fabulous name for your libation to help set the tone, like The Sexytini. You’ll find a bunch of ideas for easy, inexpensive cocktails in The Lazy Hostess, which you can adopt as your recipe for liquid bliss.
5. Let the Games Begin: Running a cocktail party is akin to running a day care for delinquent children. You must find ways for your guests to let off steam. Dancing is key. Change the soundtrack to a faster tempo as the night gathers momentum and improvise a dance floor. Fun activities are also a good idea. For instance, a toy store karaoke machine is guaranteed hilarity or even host a limbo competition. Above all, have fun. A happy hostess is the key to a happy night.
For more tips and tricks from The Lazy Hostess, buy the book in all good bookstores from October 10 2013, £12.99 or go online to www.babescott.com.