Have you ever had friends descend on you with no notice and you need to pull out some guest-friendly snacks and drinks for entertaining? You are desperately trying to scrabble out of your pyjamas before they arrive yet you need to be the hostess with the most-ess. How about a last minute dinner invite, all the shops are shut and you can’t buy flowers or chocolates for your host? I’ve been there!
If this has happened to you, don’t panic – I have a few tips and tricks for you!
Argh I’m in the office until 5.30 and we have short notice guests coming at 6. Argh!!!!
— Katie (@ladyfromatramp) September 19, 2016
I hate to say it, but as the festive season rapidly approaches, I always find the amount of house guests and short notice visits seem to sky rocket so I like to plan ahead and get prepared with minimal effort and stress.
For nibbles, think long term. Look for items you can keep in your cupboards and won’t date too quickly. Think breadsticks, olives, nuts, fancy crackers and jars of pickles. As the party season picks up, supermarkets will be filling their freezer sections with nibbles and snacks for all budgets so I always keep a few boxes of them in the bottom of my freezer. They usually come in slimline boxes so they take up next to no space. If you overindulge on the wine, they also make great hangover snacks too!
I don’t have a sweet tooth, so my favourite thing is to lay out a cheese and meat nibble board for people to pick at. Cheese has a pretty decent shelf life if you keep it unopened in the fridge, as do vacuum packed meats. A couple of small pieces of cheese, some prosciutto and crackers will tide most people over and if you plate them up nicely, people think you have taken a lot more effort than just opening some packets – shhhhh our secret!
When it gets closer to Christmas, I always buy a dozen bottles of wine in a selection box like these cases of wine from Bottled + Boxed to keep in the house. For all last minute gifts, stocking fillers, surprise guests or random drink raffles at work, you are sorted with no extra effort needed whatsoever.
Not only do you save money from buying 12 bottles at a time, you can either tailor them to your favourite reds or whites or like I prefer, get a mix. You’d not believe how many times this has saved my bacon over the years!
I do love having people over for nibbles and drinks and quite honestly, I love picky teas like this more than anything and what better time to indulge than when the shops start to get full of delicious cheeses and party snacks!
Last Christmas, the only thing I asked for from Family as gifts were wooden boards. I bloomin’ love a good wooden board to make some vacuum packed meat look fancy!