Ok. So, there comes a time in everyone's life when going out clubbing just cut it any more. The cheap shots. The outfit dilemmas. The heels. The expense. The taxi carnage. No. No thank you. Some of us would rather just stay in and watch Netflix. And we're completely cool with that.
If it hasn't happened to you yet ladies, don't worry - it soon will.
And as opposed to going out and spending a small fortune on getting smashed, some of us even take it upon ourselves to organise a social soirée in which you invite your mates over and basically bring the good times to your own living room - in other words, you throw a whopper dinner party.
It really isn't that scary. Just follow these simple tips and you'll be hosting a bash so awesome that your pals will be Instagramming the bejesus out if it for weeks afterwards.
Read on newbies...
1. Always welcome your guests with a drink
Bit of a no brainer, but instead of weloming them with lukewarm cans of lager, why not branch out and batch-make a cool cocktail? Nothing says class like the hostess floating around Betty Draper style, toting a jug of something iced and nice. We're loving this easy Strawberry Gin recipe - basically, you can make your OWN strawberry gin at home, yeah amazing - then just serve punch style with loads of ice and tonic.
2. Make sure you have an appropriate playlist
Yeah, you may be crushing on the new Adele album but come on, it's not really appropriate dinner party tuneage is it? So to remove the temptation of having one too many and belting out 'Hello' at the top of your lungs after dessert, select a playlist that will set the mood for your guests. Spotify have some great options if you are truly at a loss, but old soul favourites such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding will always go down well.
3. Nibbles, nibbles, nibbles
Even if it's just a few bowls of nuts scattered around for people to snack on, pre-dinner nibbles are a great way to keep guests happy while you tend to any last minute prep in the kitchen. Of course, you could splash out on some fancy crisps, but canapés really aren't that difficult. We love more rustic 'help yourself' titbits, such as this yummy Kale and Blackberry Brushetta. Take the warm pan to the table and let people help themselves - just don't forget napkins!
4. Get your roast on
You really can't beat a good British roast when it comes to feeding a hoard, simply because with good prep you can throw the joint in the oven and let it happily cook away while you clean the flat, and get other bits ready. Pork is a great option because not only do you get the gloriousness of crispy crackling, but your house will smell incredible when your guests arrive. This Gingerbread Roast Pork is a real showstopper, especially when teamed with rosemary potatoes and parsnips. Nom nom.
5. Dessert & board games
Chances are after all that food, your guests will need a bit of a rest, so if you are sat at the table, retire Downton style to the living room for a few games. Honestly, you'll have a few party-poopers at the start, but once the Trivial Pursuit gets going, watch everyone get involved. Once the games are underway, serve dessert and/or cheese. We think these Brandied Chocolate Truffles are great because they can be made ahead of time, and take no effort to serve. Just artistically pile Ferrero Rocher® style on a fancy plate and let your peeps dig in.