Us Brits love to socialise. However, it seems like the appeal of heading out is fading and we prefer to surround ourselves with home comforts. Reports showed that in 2001, a little over half of the UK’s adults would prefer to invite their friends to their house instead of heading to a pub or restaurant. By 2017, this had risen to three in four and, with two pubs on average closing each day in Britain, it seems as though the rise of home entertainment is having a major effect.
But, why is it that we enjoy entertaining at home?
One of the main reasons we party in our own home is to cut costs. 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?
If you bump into someone you haven’t met for a while, chances are you’ll suggest 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.
In the UK, we can often 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, what are the best ways to ensure our homes are the perfect spot for socialising?
Add a BBQ space
The BBQ is a classic. 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 BBQs to choose from – coal, electric and gas BBQs are all very popular – it’s simple to pull out the BBQ and cook a feast.
Create a seating area
When the sun is out, the beer gardens get extremely full. However, for some, 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 timber decking is a perfect 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!
Get a hot tub
Yes, that’s correct. 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.
Create a home bar
Another idea rising in popularity is creating your own bar. 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?
Don’t fret if you don’t have enough outdoor space though, simply buy cheap optics for your kitchen so that you pour your guests a drink in a quirky manner. 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.
Purchase a dining table
If the weather isn’t great, the entertainment must head indoors. 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.
With the rise of home entertaining set to continue, simply make the most of the space available to you and use your amazing hosting skills to wow your guests.