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Whether you’re a party planning professional or just love to entertain, there are a few ‘entertaining essentials’ that provide the perfect backdrop to any sit-down event. Start with a foundation of simple and stylish basics and you won’t go wrong. Here’s our top ten ‘must haves’…
- White linen tablecloth and napkins. There’s nothing more versatile than a white linen tablecloth. You’ll find it sets the stage for any style of dining experience, from brunch with a couple of friends to dinner for twelve. Coupled with crisp, white napkins, you’ll have a look that matches any colour scheme or theme, and will never go out of style.
- White basics dinnerware. A white dinner set works with every type of tabletop theme. You can match it with any centrepiece, colour scheme, holiday theme or flight of fancy. What’s more, chefs maintain that food always looks best on white plates.
- Matching glassware. Don’t worry about spending a fortune on Reidel glassware – you’ll watch your guests nervously all night. Instead, choose simple beverage basics, with a set of wine, champagne, highball and lowball glasses that can be cheaply and easily replaced when the inevitable breakages occur.
- Stylish cutlery. Invest in a good quality set of cutlery that includes two sets of knives and forks (for entrée and main), soup and dessert spoons, as well as teaspoons. A classic style will last you a lifetime.
- Wine and bottle accessories. Wine and bottle openers are obvious ‘must haves’, but bottle stoppers and pourers are also useful tools to keep on hand. You can choose simple, classic designs or inject some of your own personality with fresh, funky accessories that make you smile.
- Drink tags. Banish the “where did I put my drink” questions forever by giving your guests drink charms to mark their drinks.
- Serving dishes and utensils. Again, neutral colours (white for dishes, silver for utensils) are good choices as they ensure the food is the star of the show.
- Lighting. Soft mood lighting helps your guests to relax and shows off your entertaining space to its best advantage. So, turn the lights down low and dot your party room with candles in various sizes and heights.
- Beverages. Keep a large variety of different beverages in pantry, even if you don't drink them. You’ll be able to offer your guests a selection of aperitifs, wine, champagne, port, as well as a variety of non-alcoholic beverages. And, once the dessert plates have been cleared away, serve your guests a selection of good quality teas and coffees.
- Gourmet chocolates. As the night draws to a close, pull out the delicious treats for guests to enjoy with their coffee, tea or nightcap. It will end your event on a sweet note!
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