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8 Quick Entertaining Must-Haves for the Impromptu Guest

Updated: Apr 22

Always be prepared for the unexpected guest. Whether it is a friend stopping by after work or neighbors gathering on the front porch for an impromptu drink, here are a few tips so you are always party ready.

Have these items on hand at all times: large tray; small bowls; paper cocktail napkins; mixed nuts; gourmet crackers; block of cheese; olives; chocolate; bottle of wine (always chilled and ready); coffee; sweetener; creamer (non-dairy pods); bottled water; candle. (These are all food items with a long shelf life.)

To include in your weekly cleaning routine: Keep front porch dusted; one sitting room in the house clutter free; powder room clean and stocked.

Here is how to quickly pull the above together (in this order) when you have guests drop in:

1. Lights off (this will reduce heat in the room; no overheads on also means dust is less visible).

2. Lamps on (gives low glowing ambient light).

3. Candle lit (doing this at the start allows the scent to begin permeating the room).

4. Music on.

5. Pull out tray, bowls and napkins.

6. Fill bowls with nuts, olives, and place on tray.

7. Place block of cheese, crackers, chocolate, and napkins on tray next to bowls

8. When guests arrive place the tray on the coffee table and offer drinks

Prepping the house before the food allows guests to immediately experience the ambiance you are creating when they come through the front door. Everyone knows it is a spontaneous gathering, so even if you are pulling out food with guests standing in the kitchen, no one cares.

If I had a little advance notice, I would add fruit to the tray, like grapes or strawberries. But remember this is for an impromptu gathering. Everything on this list is non-perishable or has a long shelf life. Keep this list handy and your home will always be drop-in ready!

Together with you,

Lisa Lou

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