How I host a casual brunch is something that I love to do! It shouldn’t be stressful at all. The main goal is to have fun and relax!
Hosting is about having a good time and letting others also enjoy you, so being cooped up in the kitchen alone, slaving over the stovetop is not an ideal picture. I like to keep it a bit on the casual side because I find that when I do , the vibe of the party is much better.
There is nothing better than when you are hosting or at a party where no one feels like leaving. Where everyone is just hanging out talking and laughing. That is what you’re aiming for every time you host, a genuine good time!
In order for that to happen, there are a few steps that I always take to ensure that my brunch is a success.
1) Make the atmosphere a homey one
This one is essential for any party or gathering and a brunch is no different. I try to look at it with my five senses and do a little walk through (even if it is in my head).
The two most important is sight and smell.
You want the house to be clean and free of clutter that could bother you or your guests. There is nothing like piles of paper to distract you (and any nosy guests to look through 😉 ). Make sure that not only is it tidy, but also dust and vacuum. I realize that most everyone does this before someone comes over, but I just think it is so important to mention it here!
The cleaner it is, the more easier it is for everyone to relax.
The smell of the house is so essential because it can trigger a wonderful memory for your guests or just put them at ease as soon as they walk in your door.
I light candles and place them strategically. One right when they walk in is so nice because it sets the mood. It invites them in to see more and the scent is just comforting. It’s almost like they are being told, “come in and take a load off your feet”.
I also place candles where we are going to be sitting most of the time and also on the dinner table.
Another way to make the house feel so incredibly homey is to either bake bread or cookies. I have a wonderful bread machine I received as a gift for Christmas one year and I think it comes in handy! There is an option that it takes less than two hours from start to finish for a loaf of bread. It’s not the same as baked in the oven, but it does put out a beautiful aroma!
Plus, I have freshly baked bread. It’s a win-win!
2) Put yourself in your guests’ shoes.
Being a host is a different mentality than being a guest.
As a host you feel the need to make everything perfect and that can go a little overboard.
I am very guilty of this, where I feel like the look of the table or living room is more important than the comfort of my guests. (It’s not what I actually thought, but it could have looked that way!) Not saying that I wouldn’t give them all the blankets and throw pillows enough to be so relaxed or make a fort. But I would make them uncomfortable by it being too perfect and they wouldn’t want to touch anything.
There is probably no other way to kill the mood faster!
When it’s casual, I like to keep it very simple!
For example, this Sunday I only did pancakes with an English cream sauce (made with cashews!!) and some fried potatoes with vegetables. That was it!
So easy, very manageable, but comforting and delicious.
The secret here is to make sure that you always have enough hot delicious coffee/tea and water and make enough food. You want them to be able to drink as much as possible and eat as much as they can (within reason!).
I also believe another little tip is the English cream sauce. It is different, and it elevated it just a touch then if I would have served maple syrup.
3) Choose only 2 – 3 dishes
When it’s casual, I like to keep it very simple! For example, this Sunday I only did pancakes with an English cream sauce (made with cashews!!) and some fried potatoes with vegetables. That was it! So easy, very manageable, but comforting and delicious. The secret here is to make sure that you always have enough hot delicious coffee/tea and water and make enough food. You want them to be able to drink as much as possible and eat as much as they can (within reason!). I also believe another little tip is the English cream sauce. It is different, and it elevated it just a touch then if I would have served maple syrup. Try enhancing just one quality of the dish and see how it just uplifts the meal!
4) Relax, because everything will be okay
This is one that every host needs to keep telling herself! Let it become your mantra! So you burn a dish, someone spills their coffee, the dog is so excited she pees on the floor. It happens, but the most important thing is that you are able to shake it off and laugh! Your emotions and your state is what will rub off on your guests. If you are upset and flustered, it will make the guests also feel uneasy and that is exactly the opposite of what you are trying to do! So, I give you permission, please, just relax and have a wonderful time.
Hosting a brunch gives you so many options, I absolutely love it. Also, by throwing a party not on a holiday gives you so much leeway on what to serve and also how to serve it!
The most important part is just to have fun! Your guests are there because they love you, not there to judge you! Just drop the thought and enjoy your friends and family and they will enjoy the brunch!