Tuesday 10th October 2017
hen the Autumn season hits us, that means that plenty of us would rather stay indoors, enjoy great company, and often, come together over a delicious meal. As a family run business, family occasions are so important for us, we celebrate regularly, and most often, this is in the family dining room. This means we have great experience of preparing for those larger family gatherings that are so enjoyable (but can sometimes be stressful, that is, if you don’t prepare!).
So, how can you make sure your family get togethers are as stress-free for the hosts, as they are fun for the rest of the family? Well, here are our tried and tested tips.
That wonderful tip our Mother always told us, is, by no surprise, the best way to prevent any stress for the family affair. Get the dining room ready the night before.
Start by setting the table – if you are like us, and have an extendable table for such occasions, that then goes back to its beautiful normal dining table size, bring it out, get the chairs in, and lay the table. If it is a formal gathering, consider the best crockery, set out the wine glasses and tumblers, but set them upside down, so that you don’t have to worry about any dust getting into them. Put the napkins and candles out (if you are that sort of family!) and make sure the room is ready to bring your guests straight in, even those traditional early arrivals!
The cooking can be a great way to get everyone together, but this doesn’t mean you have to do everything on the day of the event! Consider if you wish to have some fresh bread – can this be made overnight? Perhaps there are some nibbles that are best eaten while creating the main dishes? These could be made and ready to pop in the oven as soon as guests arrive, so they are ready in only a few moments, while you all get together and muck in in the kitchen.
As the host, it shouldn’t also be your job to do all the tidying after everyone has gone. Designate a few family members for clear up after the courses – each one will get the task to clear up the plates from the course and ensure they are put into the dishwasher (if you are lucky to have one!) or will be washing them up while you are dishing the next course. Make it fun if it’s for younger family members, and perhaps even make it feel like a grown-up job that they have the privilege of being given! This will mean, once the family have left, you aren’t having to clear up for another hour afterwards.
Hosting large family gatherings should be fun for all, and if you are the host, the key to enjoying it is preparation, so hopefully these tips are useful to help you want to host another family gathering very soon! We’d love to hear your tips for helping host large family gatherings.