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How to host visitors in a simple and sophisticated way this festive season

by emily

in Lifestyle

The festive season is almost upon us. And while it may seem like we have months to prepare for family and friends coming to stay, the time will fly by without us even noticing. The last thing you want is to wake up one morning and realise you have a day to prepare for your in-laws who are going to be taking over your spare bedroom for a week. These sorts of things you need time to prepare for – both mentally and physically.

So, if you know you can expect family and friends (or both) staying with you over the festive season, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about it. You want them to leave feeling like they wish they could have stayed much, much longer. But you also don’t want to burn yourself out making sure everything is absolutely perfect and to their taste. Which is why you should make note of the following tips on how to host visitors in a simple and sophisticated way.

Create a meal plan in advance

It may sound strange to decide on a menu before the guests have even had a chance to say what breakfast cereal they prefer. However, you don’t want to end up shopping for your visitors’ dinner an hour before you need to start cooking. If you don’t know their dietary requirements, it’s perfectly okay to call them up and ask, even an email will do the trick. They’ll understand that you want to prepare and will appreciate the effort you’re going through. After all, you’re doing this so that you know what they do and do not eat in order to ensure they enjoy every minute of their stay.

Of course, there will be hiccups. One day you’ll all go out and end up having a heavy lunch and won’t feel like that roast pork belly for dinner. And another day you may find that they’ve made reservations at a restaurant to thank you for having them to stay. There’s no doubt there will be times when your carefully thought out meal plan is shaken up a little, but it’s better to be prepared than to only start thinking of meals at the last possible moment and feeding your guests at 9pm. Creating a meal plan is a good idea, even if it doesn’t go according to, well, plan.

Come up with a flexible itinerary

There are restaurants you think your guests would love, museums you know they’d enjoy and scenery you think they’d regret not seeing. Which is why you’ve made a list of all the places you’d like to take them. And they will no doubt be grateful for that. There’s nothing worse on holiday than all sitting together wondering what to do next. However, you should definitely not have every second of every day planned as they probably would like to do a few things themselves without having to check with you first. That’s why it’s important your itinerary is flexible and able to adjust with the wants and needs of your guests.

For some things, it may be necessary to make a booking and that’s understandable, especially around the festive season. All you need to do is ensure your guests are informed of which events are set in stone and what can be moved around according to their plans or what they feel like doing on the day.

Ensure the guest bedroom is extra special

You don’t just want to offer your guests a place to leave their luggage and rest their heads. No, what you want to do is make them feel wanted and comfortable. You can’t do that simply by handing over the guest bedroom you use as a storage facility for the rest of the year. You have to make it extra special. That means putting the best linen on the bed and making sure everything is cleaned out of the closets and there is no clutter hiding anywhere. If you haven’t used the room in a while, it’s important you add a pleasant scent. You can do this by leaving fresh flowers in the room on the day they arrive. However, fresh flowers don’t stay fresh forever, so it’s a good idea to have a room spray like Airoma available for your guests to use to add a delightful fragrance to the air.  

Prepare an excuse for “me time”

As much as you love and adore your visitors (that’s why you invited them to stay, after all) you will need to escape them at some point. There are very few people who can handle being around houseguests for a prolonged period of time. So, the best way to ensure you don’t lose your head during their stay is to prepare an excuse for some personal time. This could be anything from faking a cold so you can lie in your bedroom alone for the evening to saying you received a spa gift certificate from a friend so you can spend the afternoon having a manicure and pedicure and relax. It’s just a little white lie that’s not going to hurt anyone. The only thing it’ll do is give you the time alone you need to be the best host you can be.

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