Today I have some ideas for entertaining family and friends in your own kitchen as we head towards the final Bank Holiday of the year.
Whilst we have spent time apart from loved ones recently, in many areas we can now get together with another household inside our homes.
The kitchen is a great place to do this. And I’ve got lots of plans for the weekend that I wanted to share.
I’ve curated 3 creative ways you can spend time together, reconnecting with your loved ones as the summer draws to a close.
Here are my ideas for enjoying the company of others, making the most of the time you have together and getting back to some good old fashioned fun.
#1 Enjoy A Glass of Wine with a Friend
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’ve missed spending quality time with my friends. Seeing them online or Zoom is fantastic, but it’s just not the same.
You can’t feed off their energy, you don’t get the same buzz and nothing can replace seeing someone you love face to face.
So, as the summer draws to a close, invite a friend round for a glass of wine.
Personally, I’m a fan of a very cold glass of Cava. And as the Bank Holiday weekend is upon us, I plan to crack open a bottle to enjoy the last of the summer.
Remember to keep your white wine, rose and sparkling bottles cool in the fridge. There’s nothing worse than a warm glass of wine when it should be chilled.
Of course if wine isn’t your thing, how about a whisky tasting event – with lots of ice from your freezer!
Some of my favourite wines for serving with friends include:
- Freixenet: Either white or the rose version has to be my favourite bottle of Cava. After spending years holidaying in Tenerife when I was younger it reminds me of sunny days and fun nights.
- A crisp Sauvignon Blanc always goes down well with friends and is a lovely, light summer wine that everyone will enjoy.
- Serve a non-alcoholic wine for those that prefer this option. Many of the major supermarkets have good versions now in either sparkling or non-sparkling varieties.
#2 Enjoy a Mid Morning Coffee
I may have mentioned before that enjoying my early morning coffee is one of the great joys of my day.
It sets me up for the day ahead, helps me take stock and prepare my mind for what is coming.
I have to have that time to myself. With my coffee. Every day.
Now, later in the morning I LOVE spending time with a friend over a coffee. And even better if I can do that in my own kitchen with my own coffee maker.
I have several different ways of making coffee at home, and I wouldn’t be without any of them.
There are lots of different types, from filter coffee machines to bean-to-cup built in examples. (I just experienced the latter in a holiday cottage kitchen and it was amazing), so take your time when planning.
Here are my top tips for making the ideal cup of coffee from your coffee machine:
- Choose a good bean, blend or pod. The better quality you begin with, the better your overall cup of coffee will be.
- Select the right mug. A smaller cup for espresso, and larger for lungo. A wide neck mug will allow the coffee to cool quickly if necessary.
- Add a frothed milk. The effort may seem higher but the reward will be greater too. It really is worth it. I prefer to use a Barista style Oat Milk and love the creamy, frothy, non-dairy finish it gives my coffee.
You can achieve all of that with the right stand alone coffee machine or built-in version.
For even more tips from the experts on using an integrated machine specifically, to achieve different types of amazing Barista style coffee, check out this video from Magnet.
Bear in mind that not all coffee machines are created equal, and you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to get what you need. Do your research before making your final choice.
#3 Family Celebrations
When we’ve spent so much time apart from loved ones, we want to make up for it right now.
We want to enjoy each other’s company again, to help grandparents spend precious time with grand children, to reconnect with the special family in our lives.
And with the summer coming to an end and children preparing to go back to school, families can take the opportunity to meet up and relax together.
The upcoming Bank Holiday weekend is the perfect time to do this. We all know there’s no better place to gather than in the kitchen.
No matter what shape or size your home is, I’m sure you all congregate in the kitchen, it’s an unwritten rule we all tend to follow, so invite the grandparents round for tea with the kids, and spend some good quality time together.
Whatever the occasion or reason for bringing the generations together, we love to gather in the kitchen, eat, drink and chat there.
When it comes to feeding everyone, you’ll probably need to cater for different tastes and diets too. I know I do.
Thankfully, the summer months lends themselves to easy to manage buffet food, which everyone enjoys.
Here are some of my top tips for the right food at a casual family gathering:
- Do your prep. Make as much in advance as possible, keeping it cool in your fridge until it’s required. This gives you plenty of free time to spend with the family when they arrive.
- Plan a menu that means minimal cooking. Dishes that can be served straight from the fridge are ideal for gatherings like this.
- Salads, dips, and cold platters are perfect served with warm bread and will please the most fussy of eaters usually.
- Don’t forget to keep everyone’s favourite dessert hidden in the fridge too, ready for the big reveal later in the day. Everyone will love you for it!
Anyone designing a new kitchen at the moment, should think about how they’ll want to use it, and therefore the appliance within it, during the planning stages. Don’t leave choosing and incorporating appliances to the last minute as they are amongst the most used components of a kitchen and can elevate both the room’s design and functionality.
However you decide to spend time with family or friends, do it in the kitchen. Relax, make it fun, chat, laugh and be together again. We’ve spent so long away from other people, we have some catching up to do.
How to do you plan to use your kitchen this Bank Holiday to catch up with family and friends?