Typically, the British public are a sociable bunch. There’s often nothing we like more than a good old-fashioned chin-wag with our nearest and dearest. However, over the years we’ve started staying in our home comforts. Reports in 2001 showed that slightly over half of us preferred to socialise at home, but this figure was up 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 so much?
The overall cost of socialising is one of the main reasons. 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?
Whenever you bump into an old companion while out doing your chores, you are likely to suggest a catch up. But, how often do we actually follow this? 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?
House gatherings also allow you to alternate who plays host. That way you continue your social circle without needing to spend too much.
As well as being sociable, we can also be very competitive. 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 ways are available to us to open up our homes to be the perfect spot for socialising?
Add a barbecue space
Barbecues are rife in the summer months. Whether it’s a barbecue that’s fuelled by fuel or a gas bottle, they are a great way to organise a get together. 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
Some of us love the sun to shine so we can head to a beer garden, but for others the 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, low-maintenance 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
The idea of having your own hot tub is quickly becoming a garden favourite in the United Kingdom. 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
While this is another idea which was previously baulked at due to the cost, the 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?
It’s not the end of the world if you can’t fit one in your outdoor space, however. Simply 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
The task of entertaining must come inside when the weather isn’t playing ball. 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, as the rise of home entertaining continues, be sure to utilise your space to the fullest and wow your guests with your fantastic hosting skills.