Easter is one of the last opportunities of the year to entertain friends and families before winter sets in. While the nights are closing in and the days become cooler, we are lucky enough to have a climate that encourages outdoor entertaining.
Hosting a gathering at your home is a special moment – it's how memories are made and why your home becomes so precious to you.
There are many ideas to help dress your home for Easter and give your friends and family an egg-stra special celebratory dinner.
While it's heaps of fun to host a gathering, you don't want it to be stressful or so busy you don't have time to enjoy yourself.
So, below, we've offered a few ideas to help you create a memorable day under your rook but still have the time and energy to have fun and eat lots of chocolate.
Timing is everything
You'll find a little planning will go a long way. Your guests' arrival time is the base from which you can time when to serve food. If you adopt this idea, food preparation and cooking will be less stressful. You won't feel like you need to “beat the clock”.
Think ahead – Tasks such as laying the table can take longer than you anticipate, especially if it's going to have an Easter theme. So, get this job done early. And if you're worried about dust and dirt, drape a clean sheet over the top to protect the china and cutlery.
Don't run dry
Of course, you want sufficient supplies to ensure you don't run out of drinks, whether soda, beer or wine. Some retailers will let you buy and return unused beverages so long as the packaging is intact. It's definitely worth asking the question.
Resist the urge to clutter the table. A floral centrepiece can cut off one side of the table from the other. Too much cutlery can make some guests uncomfortable.
This is your opportunity to help your guests make new and deeper friendships. Sometimes, splitting up couples promotes conversation and makes it more fun for everyone. Make sure you allow yourself time to talk to all your guests during the meal.
Pale blues, pinks and tans are colours we associate with Easter. Use them in your table setting and for decorations indoors or around your entertainment area.
Decorated eggs are another wonderful addition. They can feature in glass bowls on shelves or as the centrepiece of your table. You can buy decorated eggs, or perhaps you have children who'll break out the brushes and make a super-cute contribution.
The festive atmosphere will be enhanced by putting up balloons with an Easter theme. You can usually find these at specialist novelty and party retailers.
Another hallmark of Easter is the floral arrangement. You don't need to go over the top. And don't be afraid to use blooms from your garden.
Remember the treats
A chocolate egg hunt can be fun for everyone. And it's always a generous touch to give out treat bags with heaps of chocolate eggs as your guests leave.