Is eating out with friends your indulgence of choice? Are you spending all your spare cash in restaurants? There’s something really lovely about eating good food while catching up with your best pals, but why not challenge yourself to do it on your home turf instead? You don’t need to stick to a formal dinner party format to host a meal. In fact, you might find it a lot more fun to plan some quirky themed events that don’t require lots of culinary expertise. And since having beers at home is apparently falling out of favour, it’s up to you whether you want to add grog to the proceedings or keep it all about sharing fantastic feasts with friends. Here are a few ideas to inspire you to get together.
Does your group of friends love meeting up for a bite to eat before catching a movie? Why not roll both events into one and host your own outdoor cinema? By setting up outdoors you should hopefully have a little more space to accommodate friends, plus the open air experience will help to add to the magic. You might need a diesel generator to help you power your kit along with a projector (you can hire projectors or even club together and buy quite cheaply. It’s a good idea to have lots of comfy cushions and blankets for people to cosy up with while they watch your screening too.
When it comes to the food, you could stick to traditional theater fodder like nachos, popcorn and hotdogs or how about theming food around the movie you’re watching. For example, you could make Big Kahuna Burgers and watch Reservoir Dogs, or how about a Harry Potter themed sweet fest or spaghetti and meatballs from Lady in the Tramp? You can find some cute movie themed menu ideas on Martha Stewart.
Do you often stumble in late after a night on the tiles with your mates? Why not save on the taxi fare and try a campout instead? Hosting at home means you don’t need to worry about being too far from toilets and showers, so you can concentrate on the more relaxing aspects of being outdoors instead. If you have some music makers in your midst, encourage them to bring guitars or other instruments for a sing along. As for the food, it can be as simple as you want to make it. A good old pot of chilli (veg or carne) always goes down well when you’re camping. Snack foods like s’mores are also a must or you could ditch the barbie and cook on an open fire instead. Just make sure you keep any fires away from your tent and don’t leave them unattended!
Watching a sports game is a great excuse to get your mates together and strangely enough, even if the only activity you do is commentating from the sofa, it’s usually a sure way to work up an appetite. Instead of ordering in a takeaway, why not ask everyone to bring something around for a buffet instead? To make things a little different, you could ask people to bring an item that’s traditional in the countries playing in a game. If the teams are from the same country, you could use their team colours as the theme or if sport’s not your thing, why not let your favourite TV show inspire your event’s menu – and maybe even the dress code too?
Admit it, summer fairs were pretty cool when you were a kid. From lamingtons on the cake stall through to colourful candy floss and homemade lemonade, sugar – and sunshine – was usually in plentiful supply. Add into the mix some hot dogs, chips and dips and pies and you have the recipe for a really laidback adult feast that won’t take much organising at all. Of course, if you did want to go all out on the theme you could always add in some games from your youth too, and a bouncy castle could be the icing on the cake. It’s probably best to make a no food on – or before – bouncing on the castle though. No one wants to clear up that level of mess!
Would you love to invite friends round for food more often but lack the confidence in your cooking? Perhaps it’s the cost of hosting that puts you off organising events? If you’ve organised some unusual food based get-togethers, share your hints and tips for hosting below.