To feel sad my house doesn't do dinner parties??

(96 Posts)
bordellosboheme Sun 29-Sep-13 18:08:37

When I was a girl I wanted to grow up and live in an elegant house and throw dinger parties.

However, I have ended up in a house without a dining room.... A small kitchen, and so I've not invited anyone round to dinner in 5 years.

My next door neighbours do this every weekend..... I feel sad.....

bordellosboheme Sun 29-Sep-13 18:09:12

Haha dinner not dinger!

WorldPeaceAndFreeProsecco Sun 29-Sep-13 18:09:43

Where do you eat your dinner?

nokidshere Sun 29-Sep-13 18:09:51

Have an outdoor one on a nice evening?

Where do you eat usually? I have been to some lovely dinner parties where the food has been on a big coffee table in the middle of the room and we've all sat round, chatting and scoffing. Good friends and good food = dinner party IMO, don't let the lack of 'posh' stuff stop you enjoying dinner with friends in your home.

whatshallwedo Sun 29-Sep-13 18:11:28

Don't feel sad, I personally can't think of anything worse and now that dp has left I no longer have to worry about them.

Enjoy going to other peoples and be the perfect guest - win win good food and company, no cooking or clearing up!

yes I am aware I sound unsociable

itried Sun 29-Sep-13 18:11:39

A folding or gateleg table in the sitting room?

Inclusionist Sun 29-Sep-13 18:11:50

Put on a conservatory and have them there?

I know what you mean though, I don't live in the house I though I would have. This partly stems from living close to London and partly from having first bought in 2005 and therefore never having owned a property that appreciated. You are not alone!

Bowlersarm Sun 29-Sep-13 18:13:50

Put a table in your sitting room. Buy a fold up/small one you can push to the side when you're not using it.

In my experience, people are very happy to be invited to dinner. It doesn't have to be on a designated dining room.

Laquitar Sun 29-Sep-13 18:14:05

Yes you can do mexican, lebanesse, indian, you dont need dining table for these,

SkinnybitchWannabe Sun 29-Sep-13 18:17:22

Thats no excuse! I invite people to my house all the time. We use fold up tables.

harticus Sun 29-Sep-13 18:44:42

My dinner parties consist of mates squeezed on to sofas and chairs and balancing plates on their knees. They are legendarily good.
It is about the food and friendship not furniture and rooms.

kennyp Sun 29-Sep-13 18:46:05

food is an extra when we have people over. usually just wine and stuff that happens to be hot and edible. no-one's every complained to my face ;)

stillenacht Sun 29-Sep-13 18:48:44

I feel like this toohmm I remember my parents having raucous dinner partiessmile Our DS2 has low functioning autism. Its just not possible in this househmm Also feel like that about bbqs too in the Summer (if we left doors unlocked for guests he would run into road and many other reasons why its impossiblehmm)

Talkinpeace Sun 29-Sep-13 19:00:25

Do an "american picnic" as we did in my NCT days
if you have space in your garden, site it there otherwise read on

garden :
four people are asked to being starters
four people are asked to provide canapes
six people are asked to being main courses
three people are asked to bring puddings
have SHED LOADS of Lidl cava in, and a pile of paper plates and cups
go for it
top the whole thing with the drum from an old washing machine as the ultimate brazier to do the washing up wink

not garden :
exactly the same but bring a couple of tables and then troop back to yours for the bonfire

plastic garden chairs are £1 a time from the dump at this time of year - I buy them by the dozen, they last another 5 years

but be willing to be odd as then everybody has more fun

THE BEST BBQ I ever went to had a whole sirloin on the grill and people cut slices off it and turned them into fajitas at the next (teeny table) beer was in a muck bucket full of ice

whois Sun 29-Sep-13 20:43:43

Oh don't be so defeatist. Lebanese style with food on the coffee table and all sitting round on cushions. Sit on sofas with plates and trays. Folding tables. Garden.

We've not got a table at the mo so have friends round and eat round the coffee table. Not as elegant as a nicely laid out table but just as fun.

CoffeeTea103 Sun 29-Sep-13 20:56:09

As much as it is about the setting, the most important parts of a dinner party is the food and hospitality. If you want a dinner party just have it! Don't let your situation stop you.

YoureBeingADick Sun 29-Sep-13 21:00:55

good thread!!

I have the same problem- tiny kitchen and no dining room so don't have people over but thanks to this thread I think I will now!! great suggestions.

thank you all smile

bordellosboheme Mon 30-Sep-13 14:21:15

Thank you for these fan suggestions!!! My dp acquired a washing machine inner but I got rid... Oops. Anyway, love them. Part of is also I've lost confidence that people might want to spend time with me so I want the house to do the talking! Oh that sounds moany doesn't it? I will definitely note the ideas on this thread!

Lj8893 Mon 30-Sep-13 14:28:00

I would love to go to a dinner party on cushions around a coffee table. Our local indian restaurant has an upstairs room just like that and we always choose to sit up there if there's a few of us!

My mil has a large coffee table that has mini stools that slot in underneath, i love it!

MaxPepsi Mon 30-Sep-13 14:35:10

I have a problem with entertaining too, in the fact I do it to much!

Do you have room for a table full stop?
Get a plastic garden table with removable legs and some fold down chairs. A nice fancy tablecloth over it with some tea lights/confetti/decoration of choice (or a plain white/coloured sheet)

Food on the table, try tapas? Easier than you think and very impressive. Bowls of nibbly food dotted around and chairs in any haphazard way in the room.

Bucket in the kitchen with ice for beers/wine - a gazebo just outside your back door if you are able with some battery fairy lights for the smokers etc with another bucket for beer

And most of all - have fun!

Have a fireworks party for your first one? Gives you time to get organised and you can just do big vats of chilli/curry/rice/jkt spuds for everyone

Deliaskis Mon 30-Sep-13 14:37:27

I honestly don't think it's just your house. I think dinner parties have in any case become less formal these days. People don't want to fret so much about using the right cutlery, and it really is more about good food and good company than it is about the proportions of the room. Even watching the smug marrieds dinner party in Bridget Jones felt a bit old-fashioned and that was years ago.

It's all a bit more relaxed these days, size of house aside. Jamie and Nigella et al are always talking about having food on big wooden boards and everyone eating with their hands etc.

There's lots you can do without a dining room, as people have suggested above, and when you really need a table to sit at (e.g. roast dinner), then just put a folding or patio table up in the living room.

People really do want to just have a nice time.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Mon 30-Sep-13 14:41:26

If you're not confident about people having enough to talk about, why not start low-key and invite people round to watch a good spooky film for Halloween or something? You can do cosy food like a big autumn soup that's easy to eat without a table, and light lots of candles, and it'll be all atmospheric but you won't need to worry about keeping the conversation going.

That's easier than a dinner party if you're not very confident about the chat - but then the next time it will feel easier, too.

Sounds like my sisters situation.
She still has people round for dinner.
Usually a take away on knees and some people on the floor.
Always great fun and everyone leaves very well fed and lubricated!

GinAndIt Mon 30-Sep-13 15:03:36

Yep, takeaway on knees or big bowls of chili etc with people sitting on the floor, plenty of booze, no problems grin

I remember my parents having dinner parties, every weekend it seemed. But my mum would get terribly stressed about them and I'm not sure she ever had that much fun. It is nice to make a proper effort now and again but tbh I think most people just want booze, chat and something yummy in a bowl.

I'd love to have a garden to barbecue in but since I live in on the third floor that's not really an option. As for 'putting on a conservatory'...

wink1970 Mon 30-Sep-13 16:27:37

imho, hosting dinner parties is expensive & hard work if you do it the 'posh way' - if I never have to polish a silver fork again it will be too soon.

I much prefer hosting (and even better being invited to) informal gathering where there's some finger or sharing food, brilliant conversation and - and this may be related - lots of booze.

Some brilliant suggestions on here about sitting room 'picnics', you can theme them by food or just something random like 'pink' (pink cupcakes, fizzy plonk, etc). Aware this sounds a bit Pippa's Tips

Icelollycraving Mon 30-Sep-13 17:49:42

I love the idea of a big coffee table & stools. Where do you get them?

Lj8893 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:05:27

I don't know where my mil got hers but I just googled coffee table and stool set and loads came up. I love them!

thebody Mon 30-Sep-13 19:11:54

op the sort of people who think their company abc dinner parties are fantastic are usually the ones who are all about impressing and not about the fun.

you sound lovely. food on laps, as said in a coffee table or on a picnic cloth on the floor. lots of booze. fantastic. grin

VBisme Mon 30-Sep-13 19:17:14

Picnics and barbeques in summer, carpet picnics or take-aways on knees in winter.

We have friends round a lot, but I rarely have "dinner parties", (too much stress and expense, and we all have young kids).

valiumredhead Mon 30-Sep-13 19:58:30

Oh PLEASE have a dinner party, even if it;s sitting on bean bags on the floor round the coffee table, I LOVE going to other people's houses to eat even if it's just beans on toast!

valiumredhead Mon 30-Sep-13 20:39:52

I'm not inviting myself OPblush

bordellosboheme Mon 30-Sep-13 22:54:00

You all sound great. I'm inviting you all around for dinner grin Indian, tapas etc on coffee table with bonfire it is grin
Thank you for restoring my confidence. I just tonight invited my friend and son around for informal sunday lunch. Thanks to you guys... grin

bordellosboheme Mon 30-Sep-13 22:54:41

P.s. Valium I wish you were inviting yourself. You sound nice grin

bordellosboheme Wed 02-Oct-13 17:17:26

Have invited my friend and her son for Sunday lunch!
Any ideas for an easy one? At mo am thinking of whole chicken in oven

Floggingmolly Wed 02-Oct-13 17:20:00

How are next door managing to have dinner parties every weekend; is their house not identical to yours?

valiumredhead Wed 02-Oct-13 17:20:21

Whole chicken in the oven, baked potatoes or crusty bread and salad!

valiumredhead Wed 02-Oct-13 17:21:38

I would SO come toogrin

bordellosboheme Wed 02-Oct-13 17:32:26

Floggingmolly theirs is a big executive home! They're social climbers ours is a tiny bungalow next door. smile

bordellosboheme Wed 02-Oct-13 17:33:13

Valiumredhead that sounds like much easier than a full roast! Great idea!

So pleased you've invited some guests. Chicken, jackets and salad sounds delicious. What are you doing for pud? I always make chocolate brownies and ice cream when I'm having adults and kids over. If you want to make it fancier I make hot fudge sauce to pour over.

EastwickWitch Wed 02-Oct-13 18:58:07

Or apple crumble can be made in advance.

bordellosboheme Wed 02-Oct-13 19:43:56

Ooh choc brownies and apple crumble both sound delicious options! Now, how do I get the confidence to think she is thinking good things about my house and not OMG? I can't be objective as its my house.....

It's your home. Stop giving a shit what people think about it. If you like this friend then she is a nice person, if she is a nice person she will be happy to receive such a lovely invitation. I don't go to friends' houses to judge their homes ( ok well sometimes I like a good nose, I'm only human) but to enjoy their company.
You will have a lovely time I'm sure.

Dilidali Wed 02-Oct-13 20:33:11

Wash the windows, hoover, dust, put some flowers in a vase, once the room is aired light a smelly candle, so you have a hint of nice smell.

I like a table cloth... Sorry, it's where I come from, Sunday is lunch with a white table cloth. I have a red one for Christmas and a yellow and lime green one for summer sunday lunches.

The rest is....pot luck! I tend to serve mezze type of food, cutlery in a big bunch given to children to set (haha), I jug of water with lemon, wine....everything is on the table, might be a cultural thing again, but I don't really clear the table for ages, for the people to be able to keep picking at stuff if they wish, bring a tray with a coffee pot and mugs. Children have dessert on a picnic rug in the middle of the room, leaving space for adults at the table.

I work by the principle: I'm hosting till you arrived, once you're at the table, feel at home. I am a feeder, not really a hostess, I like to enjoy my food and the company, catching up with people, the food is an excuse to gather round.

valiumredhead Wed 02-Oct-13 22:21:39

If I have lots of people round I often lay everything out in the kitchen so people can help themselves and just have cutlery and drinks on the coffee table.

Salmotrutta Wed 02-Oct-13 22:27:45

OP - I make a point of avoiding the sort of twat person who would judge my house and not just come to see us.

We don't have a dining room but we do have a decent-sized living room and kitchen so gate leg tables are your friends.

Plus - an informal supper is much more fun than a stuffy old "dinner party". wink

Talkinpeace Wed 02-Oct-13 22:31:03

I love my house. Many of my friends quite openly say that they love visiting it but could not live in it full time. Fine. I don't actually care if people like it or not. They can go sit in the garden by the BBQ pit.

I love having parties : often just tray after tray of nibbles, pleny to drink and good company

anewdispensation Wed 02-Oct-13 22:35:49

Love this and marking placegrin

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 02-Oct-13 22:36:27

What's wrong with a fork supper.

pointythings Wed 02-Oct-13 22:53:59

If people are hmm about your house, politely point them in the direction of the front door. Honestly, life's too short. Provide good food and great company, and if that isn't good enough for the people you have invited then they don't deserve you.

Talkinpeace Thu 03-Oct-13 11:47:38

pointy My house is pretty odd. The skull collection in the dining room is not to everybody's taste grin Better odd than boring though.

And actually one of the most fun sociable meals is
- baguette 1 per 3 people
- cheeses 3 flavours per 4 people
- sliced veg and jars of grilled veg
- pates and meats if no veggies there
- paper plates, knives
- a large table / worktop / rug in the garden
- lashings of wine

pointythings Thu 03-Oct-13 19:02:37

I would love to see your skull collection, can I come to dinner? I'm pretty good on zoology grin grin

Talkinpeace Thu 03-Oct-13 20:17:20

A relative of mine ....

we have a fold away table in the living room, move the sofas to put it up and used to have people round for dinner all the time, now im unemployed cant afford to do it any more, but sometimes i do a buffet type thing on a Sunday lay out the food in the tiny kitchen, everyone brings a dish and we all eat on our laps, is actually more fun than the sit down three course meals..

bordellosboheme Sat 05-Oct-13 14:47:16

Ah the house clean up begins....

Can I ask what kind of salad you would have with chicken and pots??? I know that's minor detail....

Ds and dp gone to the beach...l I'm here cleaning for tomorrow, will I regret this?????

So tired. I feel a bit of a martyr now...... hmm

pointythings Sat 05-Oct-13 14:53:53

Baby spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes (quartered), a few pumpkin seeds or toasted pine nuts. Dressing: olive oil, raspberry or red wine vinegar, a tiny drop of hazelnut oil if you have any. dollop of honey, salt, pepper. Just chuck in a lidded cup and shake - done. As long as you get the ratio of oil to vinegar right (should be 3 to 1) then salad dressings are easy.

I do the take away on knee with plenty of alcohol thing and I have a perfectly fine table and chairs in the back of the room.

bordellosboheme Sat 05-Oct-13 16:19:41

Pointy things you are a genius!

pointythings Sat 05-Oct-13 17:25:39

Enjoy, bordellos. And then experiment some more, you can really show off with salads without actually doing anything very difficult grin

valiumredhead Sat 05-Oct-13 18:12:34

Salad-bowl of olives, small plates of chopped tomatoes, cucumber, grated carrot, bowl of leafy green salad. Couple of salad dressings then people can help themselvessmile

sashh Sat 05-Oct-13 18:28:13

White sheet on the floor and serve Indian.

A paste table and folding chairs.

Fancy picnic - I used to do these when I lived in a studio.

I have a couple of disabilities so can't get to my friend's 2nd floor flat so she has cooked dinner here, could you do that? Or maybe share the prep with a friend.

My salad tonight is just green things - leaves, cucumber, spring onions and avocado. Will be yum. I like coleslaw with chicken and salad. I buy deli coleslaw from wherever.
I hope you have a lovely time tomorrow, come back and tell us all about it smile

valiumredhead Sat 05-Oct-13 18:44:00

Oh yes, coleslaw-yum!

bordellosboheme Sun 06-Oct-13 13:50:05

Floor mopped
Leather (ette ;) sofas wiped
Kitchen cleaned
Fabrezed wink
Kitchen cleaned
Shopping done
Salad done
Chicken done
Jacket potatoes in oven finishing off
Olives and coleslaw in dishes
White wine cooling in fridge

Sitting down with fruit tea and awaiting guests! Phew!

Anyone want to come? wink

valiumredhead Sun 06-Oct-13 13:56:18

Well done!grin come back later and tell us how fab it was and what you're cooking me next weekendwink

bordellosboheme Sun 06-Oct-13 22:27:31

Quick update

Went well...
Kiddos played nice together
Friend liked the food and brought desert stuff.
They stayed for a good 5 hours including a walk and playing in garden.

Friends ds dropped some food on the floor and I said 'dont worry, it's seen worse.' she said, 'i love your house, you can relax and not be uptight about dropping stuff'. I took that as a compliment (I think!?!) smile hope that didn't mean she thought I live in a hovel! shock

The food....

It was yummy if I do say so myself...
The beauty of jackets and roast chicken is you can just stick them in the oven and forget about them (until cooked)! Thank you for suggesting the menu and for building my confidence up! Oh and thanks for elaborating on salad options when my mind went black. Coleslaw and olives were yum!
I'm on a roll now... I might invite a mum from the local play group next! What do you think? Some soup and bread?

bordellosboheme Sun 06-Oct-13 22:28:52

One more observation.... I did seem to spend a lot of the weekend cleaning, shopping, cooking instead of relaxing... You do give up your leisure time a bit... But this afternoon was relaxed

bordellosboheme Sun 06-Oct-13 22:29:32


Caviare and canapés wink

valiumredhead Sun 06-Oct-13 22:42:13

Oh it sounds fab, they must've enjoyed it if they stayed 5 hoursgrin

Soup sounds fab, you ARE on a roll nowgrin

Sooooo pleased for you, sounds like a lovely afternoon. Soup and bread sounds great.

Jaynebxl Mon 07-Oct-13 07:08:51

Excellent! And the next time will be a bit easier and you won't feel you have to do so much prep I bet.

bordellosboheme Mon 07-Oct-13 08:00:45

By the way, I may be being a tad over sensitive, but what do you think about the comment above about her not worrying about making a mess? Is it a little bit of a back handed compliment?

valiumredhead Mon 07-Oct-13 08:20:54

No, not at all she said that because you didn't make a fuss when she dropped something and she was relieved she hadn't dropped food all over a swanky white table cloth with 6 people staring at her. Honestly!

There is no way anyone would stay 5 hours anywhere if they weren't having good good and fun.

OvaryAction Mon 07-Oct-13 08:39:29

It's a compliment, she feels very at home and comfortable.

NotCitrus Mon 07-Oct-13 09:48:41

Excellent news - your friend clearly felt welcome!

I've had parties over the years where I've been too ill to do anything - a couple lovely friends help tidy up before and after (one feels bad she can't afford to bring anything, but can clean a bit), I provide wine and ten quid or so for someone to go to the supermarket round the corner. Works OK even if my inner Nigella is a bit miffed!

Must organise another one...

bordellosboheme Mon 07-Oct-13 10:07:47

Love the idea of an inner nigella...... smile we all have one I reckon grin

Mumsyblouse Mon 07-Oct-13 10:18:20

Great about your first meal in your house with friends. Can I just say that I have stopped worrying so much about tidying as I used to, otherwise the whole party thing can be exhausting. I found it hard to have people over when the floors aren't that clean etc, but if you do a whole house clean and cooking, it's too much, whereas if you just sweep up the worst and clean the table you are sitting at, and cook pasta and pesto, it's all a lot easier and more relaxed.

bordellosboheme Mon 07-Oct-13 11:58:22

Good advice mumsyblouse I was freaking knackered after all that cleaning!

Jaynebxl Tue 08-Oct-13 07:24:03

Yes, mumsy is right. So long as there's somewhere to sit and somewhere to eat I'm not bothered any more, and I don't think my guests are either. Well done op.

valiumredhead Tue 08-Oct-13 09:38:33

Yeah I agree about relaxing about the cleaning, as long as the bathroom is clean it's finesmile

whois Tue 08-Oct-13 11:27:22

Yeah I agree about relaxing about the cleaning, as long as the bathroom is clean it's fine

Until we got a cleaner, dinner parties and friends staying were the only time the bathroom DID get a proper clean! :-)

bordellosboheme Tue 08-Oct-13 14:57:03

Lol about cleaning grin I'm a bit obsessive in theory not practice though you can clean and clean and for ages in our house and it never looks 100% clean... It's the fittings and finish that need updating. I'm slowly working on it.

I need a bit more coaching from you guys! After the success of the weekend I thought I would try to ask a mum back for soup after our local play group..... I made a lovely parsnip soup this am and some home made (in a breadmaker bread). However ds had me up at 5 am and last night dp was rather hostile and argumentative about a silly trivial matter and so I lost my nerve at inviting anyone over (hes at work but i am just tired)!

There seems to be bad timing at the moment. Whenever someone asks me to do something socially I have prebooked something more boring I can't get out of! Cos I work part time I don't get much time to socialise and spend a lot if time feeling argh!

I'm wondering if the problem is dp a bit here. When we argue it really jolts my confidence and then I think I come across to others as a bit socially awkward....

Sorry for the ramble!

Dilidali Wed 09-Oct-13 06:45:05

Hey, don't let him! Please, it is just wasting time and happiness. I know how easy it can be: have an argument, feel down, shut yourself from the others.

I didn't use to have a single friend here, apart from my DH. I got introduced and somehow accepted into his group of friends, but they were never my friends. To give you an example or two: their idea of meeting up is a dinner in a restaurant, no children. My idea of meeting up is everybody brings a pot of something and we eat while the kids run a riot. I enjoy reading, I can get quite enthusiastic about a book, and trying to discuss this with my DH's friends was met with slight smirks:glad you have time to read, we don't. I don't honestly know WHAT they enjoy doing, in 18 years I am yet to find a common point. But I am going along to these meets and make polite conversation and I do care about them and saw their kids grow up, but that's about it, really.
So I used to get quite lonely. So then I had my own group of friends, much more up my street, joined a book club, a swimming club, we go to art galleries, doesn't matter, we have things in common and we enjoy each other's company and have done so for years. My DH refused to join in initially, so we led parallel lives for a while. I would make an effort every time his friends were involved, I was the pretty, funny, easy going wife of X (my DH's words, not mine), my DH would be the morose snubby husband of Dilidali (again, his words, not mine) because he didn't know my friends from Adam, didn't grow up with them and quite frankly, he had friends, didn't need new ones.

In the end he had to go with what made me happy, I was very patient, but also never tried to either force my friends on him, or let him force his friends on me. I would quite swiftly sort out clashes with a simple: that's quite alright, I'll go on my own to X and you go to Y, see you at home later on. We'd meet up afterwards and fill each other in over a cup of tea at 1am.

What I am saying is in an ideal world these things would come naturally. In my world that was b****y hard work and had to be carefully orchestrated. We now have a good social life that involves both of us most of the time, also we have times when we socialise on our own. But it wasn't always a given.

Things I wish my mother taught me, eh?

Khaleese Wed 09-Oct-13 07:08:34

What a good thread!
I like informal dinner gatherings, lots of picky, help yourself type food.

I'm not stressy about mess at parties and can relax. I have a sil who moans about the mess the entire party. Kind of ruins it as you feel unwelcome, she's not an natural hostess.

I had a huge coffee table when I lived in a tiny flat, four stools, candles and it was super cosy.

Talkinpeace Wed 09-Oct-13 11:26:06

One of the most fun parties I did was around the island in my kitchen (pic on my profile) : tray after tray of nibbles and canapes (all from lidl) into the oven, then out onto the island .... drinks served from the table behind the camera.
People arrived and left at different times and the food and conversation flowed, but as it was a week night (deliberately) all gone my 11pm.

Plastic cups and paper plates = no washing up either !

bordellosboheme Wed 09-Oct-13 17:14:23

Dili Dali that was a lovely heartwarming answer, thank you.. Eloquently written too. grinsmile

bordellosboheme Sat 12-Oct-13 20:26:53

So tomorrow two couples and their kids are coming over for a hot tub (we have a wood fired hippy type one in our back garden). I bought to do a big pot of lentil and vegetable soup. Some grated cheese and a few pots crisps, some bread etc. does this sound ok? I will try not to knacker myself cleaning beforehand this time. Dp has been a grump today (as usual) but I reckon he will perk up tomorrow! Any little tips for making it extra nice? I know you guys are excellent at this type of stuff! .

Talkinpeace Sat 12-Oct-13 21:20:36

due to be raining here
so go with the hot tub anyway, but have piles of towels / fleeces for people to dash in and out in fits of giggles
and serve the soup in deep mixing bowls - less spilling, more giggling

bordellosboheme Sat 12-Oct-13 22:33:33

Talkinpeace it works fine in the rain. It gets so hot sometimes it's nice to have something cool on your head! Good idea about towels....

Talkinpeace Sat 12-Oct-13 23:03:37

uber jealous grin
I swim outdoors year round so get your drift
keep the guests giggling and everything else is ancilliary

CrockedPot Sat 12-Oct-13 23:08:48

I am a dinner party thrower, always have been. I have lived in a one room bed sit, and had some of the best evenings ever in there...lots of wine, a one pot dish and a cheese board or a box of chocolates for pud will do it if you are short of space. I now have a dining room to use if needed but still often entertain in the kitchen. It's not about the room, it's about a welcoming atmosphere and making a bit of effort.

Nessalina Sat 12-Oct-13 23:34:29

Great thread with some fab ideas! Glad you've found your inner Nigella OP! smile

Jaynebxl Sun 13-Oct-13 08:14:46

Crockedpot I think you may be my long lost twin!

bordellosboheme Sun 13-Oct-13 22:11:20

Quick update...
So spend all day prepping and cooking and cleaning...was knackered by the time people arrived.
Will have to streamline that bit....
But a good time seemed to be had by all and we managed to feed 4 adults and 3 kiddos without a hitch (the other adult and 2 kids had already eaten).
Kids enjoyed the hot tub splashing around etc....
We did all make a quick exit when my ds suddenly announced poopoo though blushblush
Ice cream to finish off the evening!

Dilidali Mon 14-Oct-13 20:39:49

It feels good, doesn't it?
Now, when is the next one?

You can cut a bit by hosting 'bring a plate' buffet type of evening.
Call it a game evening, cards, kiddies games etc, just spread the food around and play games. X

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