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What are the 'must haves' for the perfect hostess?

(40 Posts)
LesleyKnopeFan Wed 13-May-15 20:58:54

I have a nice cake slice, lots of good serving dishes, small olives/nut/sauce dishes, red/white wine, champagne, spirit and craft beer glasses that's about it.

I want the whole kit and caboodle.

On my list to procure is:

Cake forks
Butter knives
Cake plate/stand with cover
Tea cups and saucers
Champagne saucers
Cream jug
Tea/cake plates

What am I missing?

JustHavinABreak Wed 13-May-15 21:16:56

Forgive me if I'm missing the point but I don't think any of these things make a good hostess. Don't get me wrong, I love collecting these bits as much as the next wannabe-domestic-goddess but ultimately they are not what hosting is about. Just think of Hyacinth Bucket and her Royal Doulton. Poor Elizabeth next door was so terrified of damaging the tea-set, she was reduced to drinking from a plastic sippy cup with a lid grin

LesleyKnopeFan Wed 13-May-15 21:39:17

I must add that I rarely entertain! I've been inspired by several relatives and friends over the years who always have the right instrument for the right occasion.

I think it's the thrill for me of having non-essential items which are a treat to buy (as opposed to baking tins etc) and also feeling like a proper grown-up....grin

FinallyHere Wed 13-May-15 21:48:37

Im older now, and have quite a collection of things to use when entertaining, all of which do my heart good when they get used.

My favourites are probably the cake forks. Sigh.

I would not give houseroom to champagne saucers: I've never tried one but think that they would allow all the lovely bubbles to escape too quickly. Its flutes all the way.

DoItTooJulia Wed 13-May-15 21:52:38

My best friend is a an amazing host. Her parties or get togethers have amazing food, great company and lots of booze. And she has a hot plate.

I'd say the perfect hostess has 6 bottles of fizz ready to go. That way if people do decend you can get them all pissed and not one of them will remember that you served cake with ikea toddler forks stained orange from beans. grin

JustHavinABreak Wed 13-May-15 21:57:19


Well in that case, here goes...
Napkin rings (Newbridge Silver and I love em!)
Starched linen tablecloth (Christmas table isn't the same without it!)
Cut glass whiskey/brandy decanter (not sure if we have ever used it but I get a weird thrill from owning it - does that make me odd?)
Proper matching tea-set so the whole lot as in teapot, cups, saucers, milk jug, sugar bowl, cake's like when you're a kid with all your dolls only it's REAL!!!

JustHavinABreak Wed 13-May-15 21:59:05

Pure genius Julia!!! Bottles of fizz and then they can all use the Thomas The Tank Engine gear grin

Keenoonvino Wed 13-May-15 22:04:37

What on earth is a champagne saucer?

CanToCandle Wed 13-May-15 22:05:06

A sense of humour and a Waterford crystal cake stand

evertonmint Thu 14-May-15 09:47:43

A friend bought us some olive picks as a semi-joke present once (we have competitive hosting going on when we get together grin) but I swear they are the thing people comment on most - "wow! You even have olive picks!"

Though to be honest, booze and a smile are the most important things grin

evertonmint Thu 14-May-15 09:51:06

Water glasses and a lovely jug too - people often forget that a glass of water is much appreciated.

Notso Thu 14-May-15 10:00:07

DM's friend is a fab hostess. They have everything mentioned but their knives and forks for eating with are shite. Absolutely awful, unbalanced, mismatched. That is the one thing that I tend to notice when we eat at other people's houses. That and tea made in a cup not a pot also not having a gravy boat.

fairnotfit Thu 14-May-15 10:05:53

Over the years, I have inherited things like double-damask tablecloths and napkins, a dozen crystal finger bowls, a ham stand, and a silver gravy boat.

I have never, ever used any of them. Ever.

Actually, that's not true. I've served crisps and Wotsits in some of the finger bowls grin

dingalong Thu 14-May-15 10:08:57

And a notebook to record details of dinner parties - guests, what they ate and what you wore smile

Heels99 Thu 14-May-15 10:13:41

To be the perfect hostess you need to actually host people. Having a cupboard full of stuff but not actually hosting anyone is a bit doolally and doesn't make a good hostess!

ISingSoprano Thu 14-May-15 10:23:59

We quite often have friends over for a meal - usually fairly casual events but I do like:

* proper linen napkins
* Jugs - I have quite a collection to use for sauce, gravy, cream, milk etc
* some lovely, tiny espresso cups bought in France

Other than that - good food, wine and laughter!

Cacofonix Thu 14-May-15 10:25:27

Is a pastry fork the same as a cake fork?

YY to a lovely jug - I am inundated with those and still need more.

WipsGlitter Thu 14-May-15 10:39:43

A ham stand?? What IS that?

ArcheryAnnie Thu 14-May-15 10:56:28

I think the knowledge that there is no such thing as a "perfect hostess" is the most useful thing.

On the other hand - I can understand the appeal of owning all kinds of inconsequential crap that is nonetheless satisfying to get. I suggest you get yourself a Lakeland catalogue and go to town.

(I've always wanted a Hostess trolley as it is SO SEVENTIES, but since my kitchen is 60 seconds from my dining table, I hate cooking, and I've got too much stuff as it is, think it's probably an indulgence too far.)

fairnotfit Thu 14-May-15 10:56:44

Kind of like this Wips. Supremely useless.

Laquila Thu 14-May-15 11:47:38

Love this thread, it is pleasingly bonkers. I must Google "ham stand".

I'd agree with; a multitude of jugs, decanters of water with glasses by the bed, boxes of easily-accessible tissues, and lots of nice serving spoons. One of my most-used presents is a set of two plain but very nice serving spoons with brushed metal handles. I'd like 6 more!

Oh also a big teapot that does easily does 6 big cups of tea.

SnotQueen Thu 14-May-15 11:52:00

The perfect hostess needs a pineapple corer thing so as to provide tropical cocktails in a hollowed out pineapple, complete with umbrella and curly straw.

ArcheryAnnie Thu 14-May-15 12:08:43

That's very naice, fairnotfit! Or it could be one of these rather medical-looking things, where you clamp a whole leg of serrano ham, complete with the horrid foot bit sticking out the end.

123Jump Thu 14-May-15 12:26:53

Sigh. OP, we are alike! I love all this stuff.
May I ask has anyone seen any really nice placemats? I've been scouring the internet for months and can't find any I like. Yes, I realise this may make me a pathetic arse.
I'm going on the hunt for some pastry forks next month.

evertonmint Thu 14-May-15 12:40:20

Placemats are like sofas - 6 million types available but only 3 that aren't utterly hideous.

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