If you’ve pulled the short straw to host Christmas this year at your house, you’re probably already panicking about how to host Christmas and give your guests a festive week that all the in-laws and cousins will enjoy.
Luckily, we’ve enlisted Angel Strawbridge, from Escape to the Chateau, to share her top tips on how to host guests at Christmas time. Even if you love welcoming friends and family in December, her tips and tricks for how to host Christmas are sure to have your guests raving for years to come.
1. First impressions count
‘I always have one candle in the entrance hall,’ says Angel. ‘Walking into any house, be it small or big, you want to see something beautiful, to smell something lovely, exciting all the senses.’
Use diffusers in each of the guest’s rooms to scent the space. If you are a serious Escape to the Chateau fan, why not try the stunning new diffusers from the Chateau by Angel Strawbridge fragrance range, available at Sainsbury’s?
2. Add a personal touch
In addition to popping shower gel, bubble bath and other everyday amenities in her guest’s rooms, Angel Strawbridge always goes the extra mile. She gifts her guests a small box of chocolates and a bottle of their favourite tipple.
‘People love the personal touch,’ explains Angel. ‘Even if it’s friends, family or paying guests, I always send an email saying what’s your favourite drink and I’ll put a little bottle of that in their room.’
‘Knowing that sort of thought process always makes people very happy,’ she adds.
3. A little decoration goes a long way
You don’t need to go crazy with the Christmas decorations to get your guests in the festive spirit.
‘It’s the little details that you do, over the door handles or mantlepiece. I don’t go to town. It’s just a nod at Christmas,’ explains Angel. ‘We’ve got a big tree and a lot of the decoration go into there, so I will then just sprinkle a little bit around in the other rooms. So it just looks stylish and nice.’
4. Meet your guests with a glass of something
‘As a rule, when guests come through the door I will have a glass always ready, alcohol already chilled,’ says Angel.
However, the key to a seamless reception for your guests is preparation. ‘I do not like it when someone arrives, only for me to have to go off for five minutes,’ explains Angel. ‘Any event, whether it is just my parents over for a bit of Sunday food or if it’s a big wedding, I will start with everything in its place because you want to be out there hosting.’
5. Always serve from the right
A good host will always keep the drinks flowing. ‘I’m always topping up people’s glasses,’ says Angel. ‘We get blamed for getting people drunk.’
But, how do you discreetly keep the guests’ glasses topped up? ‘Always come round from the right,’ explains Angel. ‘There is something that makes people feel comfortable whatever you serve. Don’t ask people. If you have to ask someone 20 to 30 times it becomes boring. I just top people up and then as soon as people say “no more for me”, that’s fine.’
Now you know how to host Christmas the Angel Strawbridge way, will you be sprinkling a little Chateau magic over your festivities this Christmas?