In Britain, there’s sometimes nothing we like more than a good old-fashioned chin-wag. However, it’s recently become apparent that we prefer to do so in the comfort of our own home. Reports showed that just over half of the UK’s adult population preferred to have guests come to their home to socialise. However, that number had risen to 75% by 2017. With two pubs on average closing each day in Britain, the rise of home entertainment is clearly having an effect.
But, why is it that we like to entertain at home?
How much is costs is one of the main reasons we bring the ‘party’ to our own doorstep. 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?
How often do you say, ‘let’s meet for a catch up’ and never follow through with it? 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.
It’s a known fact that we can be a very competitive bunch in the UK. 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 can we do to get our homes up to scratch for socialising?
Add a BBQ space
Have you got a BBQ? If not, get one! Gas BBQs offer the chance to socialise outside while cooking up a feast. 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.
Create a seating area
Beer gardens get super crowded in sunny weather, but some believe that 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 plastic 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
Perhaps surprisingly, the hot tub is quickly 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
Like the hot tub, another relatively popular idea which has the reputation of being expensive is the home 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 worry if your outdoor space isn’t big enough, though. 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.
Purchase a dining table
If the weather takes a turn for the worse, it’s time to bring the party 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.
So, it’s clear that the rise of home entertaining is set to continue, so be sure to utilise your space and wow your guests with your amazing hosting skills.