The holiday season is here, which means the hosting season is alive and thriving. Whether you’re keeping it simple or hosting all your family and friends, there are a lot of things to keep track of when throwing the ultimate dinner party. To help you out, we went to the experts, AKA founders and team members at some of the top Food & Beverage and Home brands, chefs, and even the Snaxgod herself, to talk tips and tricks on being the host(ess) with the mostest.
I think no matter what you’re drinking, amazing glassware and a really fun garnish like fresh flowers or dried fruit wheels always make a drink feel more elevated.
“My all-time favorite thing to cook, though, is pasta. It’s so therapeutic for me, and there is something about serving a dish of pasta rolled one by one that truly says ‘you are welcome here.’”
“The people! It’s always, always about the people. Everything else, the music, the food, the deco, is just a catalyst for ambiance. My goal is always to create an environment where people can connect.”
Focus on prioritizing dishes you make ahead of time so you can also enjoy your guests. When I started hosting, I’d get really stressed about the food, but what’s most important is that everyone feels welcome and relaxed and no one sets the tone better than the hostess.
Caitlin Villarreal is the VP of Marketing at Social Studies, a design & hospitality company that brings a party in a box. Social Studies rentable kits include everything you need to set a flawless (read: Instagram-worthy) table. All you have to do is enter your party date, guest count, and shipping address, and the kits are delivered the day before the event and picked up the day after.
At Social Studies, we research and soak in inspiration from the world. We look at what’s going on right now in fashion, design, architecture, food, anything in the zeitgeist really. It’s about mixing high and low, which we think ultimately results in a more eclectic feel. Currently, our best sellers are The Doppio, Essentials White, and True Blue, which are all rentable kits.
If you’re looking for cookware that doubles as serve ware, you can’t go wrong with Caraway.
Start with the mood and aesthetic: low-key and simple, high-energy and maximalist, or in between?
Then, pick a Social Studies look that fits your party vibe and make sure you check out the corresponding playlist on our Spotify channel. That’s 80% of the planning process, right there!
I love nothing more than hosting a dinner party for friends but I’m absolutely not a cook. An easy fix for those who lack chef skills is a grazing board followed by hearty frozen snacks like pigs in a blanket (yes, frozen is ok). If we’re getting fancy, I’ll pre-order from one of my favorite NYC restaurants through Goldbelly or place a spontaneous Caviar order if I’m short on time. .
The perfect mix of the little things that jive together to create those magical moments people remember, forever…First, your guest list is everything. A surprising, maybe even unusual, mix of people is a great place to start. Next is lighting, music, and of course, a stress-free host that uses Social Studies. That’s the real trick to a fabulous evening…
A great host is a relaxed, warm and welcoming host. We recommend hosts prep in advance so they can spend their time mingling and connecting with their guests.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of this series, featuring an interview from the Snaxgod herself, Andrea Hernandez. In the meantime, check out The Fascination’s Holiday Hosting Hacks collection to find some of the best products to grab any time you are hosting anyone at your house. Or shop The Fascination’s collection of Gifts for the Foodie for the best gifts for the host in your life (if it’s not you, we won’t judge).