ENTERTAINING ESSENTIALS FOR A HOST OR HOSTESS

table setting for a special event

Building up a fully stocked arsenal of kitchen and entertaining pieces is a process for most of us. It’s easy to see a beautifully styled table or party and lust after fancy plates; patterned napkins; and colourful, rimmed glasses. But if you only entertain occasionally or are just starting to build up your collection, chances are, it’s more wise to stick to practical, universal staples.

If you’re new to the hostess scene or have never been one before, not to worry. We’ve created a list of all the basic essentials that you should have in your collection to kick off any event in your home.

A set of basic white dishes

1. A set of basic white dishes

Before you start delving into fine china and different print salad plates, it’s a good idea to get a standard set of white dining. They go with everything so even if/when you do start to expand your collection, you will always be able to come back to these stapes. Simple and timeless. 

A couple of serving platters

2. A couple of serving platters

Unlike the basic white plates, serving platters are the item that you can be adventurous with if you’re a budding hostess. From Christmas ham, to snags at a backyard BBQ, to mini sandwiches and prawn cocktails, investing in a few large serving platters will always prove to be immensely handy.

Keep your tablecloth for more formal occasions such as sit-down dinners and birthdays. Choose a tablecloth in a neutral colour palette that can be reworked to suit multiple occasions, and choose a fabric that is robust enough to withstand multiple washes, such as 100 per cent cotton or linen.

3. A tablecloth

Keep your tablecloth for more formal occasions such as sit-down dinners and birthdays. Choose a tablecloth in a neutral colour palette that can be reworked to suit multiple occasions, and choose a fabric that is robust enough to withstand multiple washes, such as 100 per cent cotton or linen.

A set of linen napkins

4. A set of linen napkins

Napkins are an inexpensive way to change up place settings if you entertain a good bit, but first, invest in a set of at least 12 nice quality napkins. I would recommend a neutral/taupe linen as your main set – they are more kind with discoloration and wash up well. Plus, just like those white plates, they will go with anything.

A selection of beautiful glassware

5. A selection of beautiful glassware

The overall appearance of a beautiful table can be reduced by chipped, scratched or just plain old glassware. But that doesn’t mean to say it has to be new. Having a selection of gorgeous glassware for drinks and wine will elevate any table. Collect beautiful glasses that are in mint condition from second hand or antique stores, and mix and match them with pretty, similarly shaped and styled glasses from affordable retailers.

table setting with more flowers

6. Flowers… And lots of them

A beautiful flower arrangement is the perfect centre piece at a dinner party. They are fresh, they can be lively, bright, romantic, melancholic and everything in between. Get down to your local florist and pick up an arrangement on the morning of your party to finish off the aesthetic of your setting.  

gray colored ice bucket

7. An ice bucket

More than a beverage trough or champagne chiller, an ice bucket can offer so much more practicality than several standalone pieces. Yes, you can use it as a bucket of ice, but you can also use it to chill beverages (or even as a centrepiece).