5 Tips for Last Minute Hosting at Christmas


Natalie Ellen Cobb Private Dining London
Private Dining London

Christmas is the time for over indulging in food, drinks and friendships and although we can plan for some celebrations and get-togethers, the festive season brings many surprises and impromptu gatherings that just can't be planned. Today Natalie Ellen Cobb, Event Planner at Private Dining London and Event Director at Event Setters gives her top tips for last minute hosting of those unexpected dinner parties at over the festive season…

1. Food & Drinks

Festive table spread

Last minute hosting means extra mouths to feed at short notice, so it goes without saying that you need to be tactical with your next visit to the supermarket. Stock your wine rack with some bubbles, bottles of good wine, pre-made mulled wine and some fun non-alcoholic alternatives. The fridge should have a good range of delicious cheeses and cured meats that’ll keep well, ready for guests to dig into. Try having some mince pies, nuts and snacks in the dry cupboard for emergencies. If your kitchen is prepared, you will be prepared!

2. Standing or Seated?

Christmas table setting in white, silver and pink

Sometimes we may struggle to accommodate guests at short notice due to space at home or furniture. If you don’t feel you have enough capacity for a sit down event when it comes to last minute hosting I’d suggest making your impromptu party a standing affair. Canapes, charcuteries and standing drinks can be easier to host and put together so may be a preferential option.

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3. Setting the Scene

Living room decorated for Christmas

In terms of decor, filling your house with a festive tree, winter-scented candles and seasonal flowers will ensure that your house is ready for any unexpected guests and a cosy atmosphere can be created easily. Bring out your best tableware and cutlery if you feel the occasion deserves it and Christmas music will set the perfect background for entertaining.

4. Dress to Impress

White and silver table setting on a navy tablecloth

We can’t be dressed festive constantly in the hope that we may have an invitation to a last minute party but a good trick is to have a simple but glam dress in your wardrobe and a fun Christmas jumper for something more casual so that you have options to be ready at very short notice, perfect for last minute hosting.

5. Don’t Panic, Relax and be Festive!

Festive table setting with champagne

The biggest tip I can give for last minute hosting this festive season is to celebrate and enjoy the moment. Welcoming guests into your home should be a pleasure and fun so follow the tips above, have some lovely drinks and spend time with friends that you enjoy the company of. This way, your impromptu party will be a festive success!