Us Brits are a social bunch and enjoy a good old-fashioned chin-wag with our family and friends. However, in recent years, we’ve tended to opt for entertaining in the comfortable surroundings of our homes. A 2001 report highlighted 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. By 2017, this figure rose considerably to 75%. Given that on average, two pubs close each day in Britain, the upsurge of home entertainment is clearly having an effect.
Read our guide below to help uncover why we like to entertain at home…
Cost is reduced significantly
The main reason we bring the ‘party’ to our own doorstep is to save on expenses. 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?
House gatherings are convenient
If ever you meet an old friend when you’re out doing your chores, you are likely to have said ‘let’s meet for a catch-up’, but how often do we actually follow this through? 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.
Personal praise from guests is a feel good factor
We can be a very competitive bunch. 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?
So, how can we make sure our homes are the perfect spot for socialising?
We love to wine and dine outdoors
Ah, the old 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, available from companies such as Gaslight.
Create an outdoor seating area
Beer gardens may be the port of call for some, but for others, their home garden is the place to be. 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!
Consider getting a hot tub
Yes, you read that right. 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.
Install a home bar
Another relatively popular idea in which people had previously baulked over due to the price. 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, you can buy 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.
Choose a dining table to enhance your entertaining facilities
When the weather isn’t playing ball, entertaining must come inside. 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.
There you have it! 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.
Article brought to you by Arbordeck, a provider of composite decking boards, an durable product ideal for the sustainability-conscious.