My love of social gatherings comes from my father’s side and his Maori heritage. My Kui (grandmother) catered for her local golf club for over twenty five years and when we get together for kai (food) you always bring a plate. So in a sense hosting is ingrained in me. While my mum couldn’t think of anything worse than throwing a dinner party, I lavish the idea of serving up my attempt on the latest seasonal dish and dressing the table.
Hosting a minimalistic gathering to me means spending time being purposeful about your decisions. These decisions could look different for everyone, for me it’s a love of cooking with the seasons and embracing some alternative flour or vegetables. In the winter it’s finding homely scented candles to welcome guests, in the summer it’s finding a shady spot outside to enjoy a family BBQ. Defining these personal preferences has made having people over less about trying to impress and more about allowing others to relax in and share what we authentically love.
At its very core, hosting is about making others feel welcome, if you feel comfortable your guests will too. Falling back on some of your favourite practical decisions is a wonderful way to ensure you feel at ease.