We love to socialise in the UK. A good old-fashioned chinwag is something we love to partake in. However, we have been moving away from socialising in public in favour of bringing the party to our homes. In 2001, reports found that just over half of the UK’s adults would prefer friends come over to their house to socialise rather than head to a pub or restaurant. This figure had substantially risen to 75% by 2017. And with two pubs on average closing each day in Britain, the rise of home entertaining is clearly having an effect.
But, what is so appealing about home entertaining?
A key factor to make us bring the ‘party’ to our own doorstep is to save on cost. The average price 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?
We often say we will organise a catch up with old friends but sometimes fail to sort it out. 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? By organising house gatherings, you can also take it in turns who plays host. That way you continue your social circle without needing to spend too much.
It can be a real ego booster when we gain the plaudits from our peers. 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?
So, how can we set up our homes to make sure they are the perfect spot for socialising?
Add a barbecue space
The barbecue is a British favourite. 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 gas).
Create a seating area
While beer gardens are extremely popular when the sun shines, some love to enjoy the nice weather in their own garden. 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 plastic decking is a perfect 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!
Get a hot tub
In recent years, the hot tub has shot up in popularity 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.
Create a home bar
Another relatively popular idea in recent years has been the home bar. 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 don’t have enough outdoor space, don’t worry. Purchase some cheap optics for your kitchen so that, when you offer those spirits, you do so in a quirky manner instead of just heading for 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.
Purchase a dining table
The party must come inside if the weather isn’t up to scratch. 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.
As home entertaining’s popularity is set to continue rising, be sure you make the most of the space you have available so you can amaze your guests with your brilliant hosting skills.