Some say a party isn’t a party without good food or drink. OK, we’re not about to disagree, as our kitchen is stocked with all sorts of shelf-stable party snacks, like cocktail nuts, red wine, and puff pastry in the freezer. But what many hosts forget is how to serve the snacks. A container of olives in the fridge is great, but if you lack a small bowl, what are you going to use? The container it came in? A mug?
The secret to entertaining with ease is to always be prepared. We’ve talked about what sorts of foods and drinks to have on hand to make hosting six for dinner as easy as picking up greens for a salad, and root vegetables and chicken for roasting. But do you have everything you need to set the table and open that bottle of wine?
Forget the fancy chargers, napkin rings, even tablecloths — sure, they’re great to have when entertaining and do wonders when it comes to creating a set table that will have your guests commenting all night, but they're not necessary.
We're sticking to the basics here — white cotton napkins to use any time of day, year-round, and candles so you can turn down those harsh overhead lights and create a little ambiance. Entertaining in a small space? Transform that stack of books into a little coffee table with a durable handled tray. And should the conversation dwindle, pull out this deck of cards to rescue the party from disaster. At the very least, throwing your next party will be a whole lot easier.