Suburban Soiree

My Top Five Entertaining Essentials

HostingAmy WileyComment

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My husband and I love to entertain, whether it's just a couple of friends or packing our entire house for a Christmas party.  While I have lots of dishes, serving platters, glasses, etc... there are a few items I seem to pull out every single time I open my door to guests.  I'm sharing them with you today along with several links to options you can add to your entertaining arsenal.  These things make life easier, and they get plenty of use!

Beverage Dispensers

I am ALL ABOUT setting up a self-serve situation when I entertain.  Sure, you can grab drinks for the first few who walk in the door, but then conversations start, more guests arrive, and it's too much to keep up with.  Beverage dispensers allow you to put out plenty of water, tea or any other beverage and your guests can help themselves.  Even if you hand out the first round, the dispenser allows easy refills for everyone.  These even work for kid parties.  Here are some cute, go-with-everything, affordable options...

Single-Cup Coffee Maker

If you aren't on the Keurig train yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  I always say the Keurig and gel manicures are two of the great inventions of our time.  Even if you aren't a big coffee drinker, you will want one for guests.  Like for example if I'm coming over.  Ha!  It allows guests to choose between regular and decaf without waste, not to mention the option of flavored coffee.  Having a coffee setup with all the essentials is so inviting and encourages guests to linger after dinner for more conversation.  Be sure to have lots of K-cups, creamer, and sugar options out.

Basic White Dishes

I have many, many sets of these plates.  As in, if I told you how many you might turn me in to the show Hoarders.  They are inexpensive, durable, and versatile.  You can't go wrong with a great set of white plates.  (Of course you will dress them up with fun food, napkins, and decor!)

Big White Platter

I can't tell you how often I use my big, white platter.  As much as I love colorful, seasonal serving pieces... the big white one always ends up in the mix.  You can use it to serve the entree, an appetizer assortment, or dessert arrangement.  It's also the one I reach for the most when I'm taking food somewhere else. 

Ice Bucket

Many years ago I got on a kick and bought several different ice buckets.  I have copper, red, silver, lime green, pink, and black with white polka dots.  I was just telling my husband how that random color combination means at least one will match whatever I'm doing.  You can be more practical and just get a neutral one, of course.  The ice bucket also plays into the self-serve idea.  No need to use the noisy fridge ice maker in front of guests.  I prefer them to have lids to prevent melting.

These are my must-have items for entertaining.  Whether you're just having neighbors to dinner or throwing a big wedding shower, stock up on the essentials and you'll find you use them over and over again.  Happy hosting!