Top tips for entertaining at home this January

Save the pennies and the calories by hosting fun evenings at home

You broke the bank and your diet over Christmas so now is the time to get everything (both numbers and waistline) back into shape by entertaining at home.

Whilst dining out doesn't require the washing up, it also makes it hard to stick by both of these resolutions. But with these little quirks to home entertainment you'll be happy to stay out of the stormy weather...

Bring on the buffet

dining room with buffet on dining table

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Buffets can be less expensive and certainly less stressful than serving up a three-course meal for a party of six! Plus, buffets allow you to invite more than your dining room table can accommodate - the more the merrier when it comes to mingling.

Movie marathon

movie room with popcorn and cold drink

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Have your mates over for a less formal night and watch the latest DVD releases or link to Netflix for your favourite series showdown. They only food required is a few bags of popcorn and a fridge of cold beers.

Come Dine with Me

dining room with dining table and plate

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Mimicking Come Dine with Me with local couples or pairs of friends means you're Saturday nights are busy for the next few weeks and you only have to cook once! Plus a little competition is healthy between friends, right?

Liven up your entertaining space

dining room with dining table and grey wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Add a painting, hang some new curtains, upholster the dining chairs - whatever it may be, spruce up your empty, cold dining room. You will once again be proud to entertain in your home and leave all your friends envious of your new interior.

Go back to school

baking bread

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Teach your guests a thing or too by hosting a lesson evening. Get your local florist, baker, jewellery maker or bar man to pop along and create a fun class on flower arranging or cocktail making. This is a good icebreaker if friends or work colleagues are meeting for the first time.

Bet on a games night

monopoly and cluedo

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Have a nostalgic evening with your friends by playing your favourite childhood games. Whether it's Monopoly, Cluedo, a simple card game or Jenga, these games will get everyone in a lively mood. Serve alongside some childhood classics like jelly and ice cream.

Garden party

dining room with dining table and chairs

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Beat the frost and host a garden party indoors by filling a room with tonnes of flowers and a canopy of leaves before serving summer favourites that will brighten up a bleak January evening.

Theme the cuisine

burgers with mini american flags and bunting.

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It doesn't have to require lots of effort or people to dress up, but giving your cuisine a consistent theme can be fun and make your menu easy. Serve North African food in traditional tagines and fat burgers with mini American flags and bunting.

Sell your evening to friends

christmas gifts

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Bag a bargain by hosting a party with a representative from Avon or The Body Shop or even organise your own swapping party to get rid of those unwanted Christmas gifts and steal some goodies from friends.

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.