You just can’t beat a good get-together with friends, right? No pressure on dressing up or going out, the expenses of a taxi or drinks, just having folk over to your own home and being content in good company. We’re certainly steering more towards home parties than going out to pubs or restaurants; in 2001, over 50% of adults in the UK preferred having friends over than going out to the pub, and this rose to 75% in 2017.
As two pubs a day, on average, close their doors, what is it about home entertaining that they just can’t compete with?
Of course, staying home is a lot more cost effective than going out. The average cost of a three-course meal in the UK last year stood at £28.59, excluding drinks and gratuity. That means that, with the price of drinks hiked up in most restaurants, you could easily pay over £50 per head on your dinner date, and that’s not factoring in other expenses such as taxis.
By entertaining at home, you can stock up your fridge and freezers with all your favourite foods and tipples for a fraction of the cost. Now that sounds better, doesn’t it?
Saying you should meet for a catch-up is one thing, but actually putting one together is another. Organising a get-together can often be hard work and fall at the wayside. That’s where home parties come in handy. Unlike many bars, kids are allowed! This means less hassle in needing to find a babysitter if you have little ones as you can just bring them in tow. Great, eh?
You can also cycle who is host. That way you continue your social circle without needing to spend too much.
We love compliments
There’s nothing wrong with a little showing off. Gaining the plaudits from our peers can be a real ego booster, no matter how much we deny it. Hosting a good party or gathering can hold you in high esteem within your family our social circle. After all, we all remember who used to hold the best house parties at school, don’t we?
There are lots of ways that you can get your home ready for the best catch-up with friends, including…
Adding a barbecue space
We Brits love a barbecue. If you visit any supermarket when the sun is shining, you’ll be met with a limited selection of sausages and burgers and empty beers, wines and spirits shelves. Those summer months and lighter late nights give us the perfect opportunity to bask in the fresh air and wine and dine outside. With so many barbecues to choose from, it’s simple and cheap to pull out the barbecue and cook a feast on the coals or from a patio gas bottle.
Beer gardens are nice, but our own, private garden space is so much better. While we love our lawns, we need a seated area to offer to our guests, especially if food is on the menu. Often, we choose to deck out an area of our garden and composite decking boards is a perfect, low-maintenance option. This allows you to have a designated area for guests to congregate, eat and drink and best of all, it doesn’t take much to clean up afterwards!
Splash out on a hot tub
Admit it, you’ve dreamt of it. The hot tub is fast becoming a garden favourite in the UK. Despite the dramatic change in weather over the winter, hot tubs can actually be suitable for all-year-round entertaining. In Newcastle, sales were 600% higher in the first four months of 2018 than the whole of the previous year. With prices vastly varying depending on the model and size, the idea of relaxing in the comfort of your personal garden spa is clearly one that appeals.
Raise the (home) bar
The idea has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years. A garden bar is becoming increasingly more sought after in the UK to those who have enough spare space. While these can be professionally built huts, some are using their imagination and recycling materials to create a one-off garden bar out of caravans and summerhouses. Imagine being your own landlord and not needing to deal with kicking out time?
If you’re lacking outdoor space, there’s plenty of options to turn your kitchen into something a little cooler than just the ‘booze cupboard’. After all, we all like to show off our gadgets, don’t we? An impressive alcohol selection will look all the better in a well-presented manner.
A place to dine
Given our glorious weather, you’ll probably find yourself entertaining indoors a lot. Some people prefer to eat their dinner in front of the television, and that’s fine. However, a nice dining table can come in extremely handy if you are entertaining guests. Whether it’s for a ‘Come Dine with Me’ effect, sit-down meal, or just to place your buffet snacks and drinks on while people chat away, a table could be a great purchase. Make sure you place it in a space that still allows you to freely navigate around it and doesn’t clutter your room.
No wonder we’re staying home so much more. With the rise of home entertaining set to continue, make sure you make the most of the space you have available and wow your guests with your amazing hosting skills.