Listen: Dan & Laura chat with the fabulous Deborah Hutton.
If you find yourself hesitating to invite friends around for dinner because it seems “all too hard”, take a leaf from Deborah Hutton’s book and do it anyway.
In her book Entertaining Made Easy she even advocates buying takeaway and serving that up, if it will help you to simply get people together.
“I think we put ourselves under too much pressure,” she said in a chat with Hope 103.2’s Dan and Laura.
“You might even have a favourite takeaway you love. Well get it, shove it in a nice bowl, don’t tell anyone, set the table and you’re fine. It’s just about being inclusive and having people in your house. And if things go wrong, it makes it far more interesting conversation around the dining table.”
Deborah, a model and TV personality, said she was one of the few people among her friends who actually loved to have people around to entertain, and she wanted to encourage others to love it too.
“It’s not that hard,” she said. “Even if you invite someone around for a chop, just have people at your house, because there’s nothing nicer than going to someone’s house and sitting back and having a few hours.”
Deborah’s Tips On Dining-In Etiquette
Her book, which she calls her “101 ultimate guide to entertaining”, contains recipes but also tips and tricks for those who never entertain and are timid about it.
When asked about etiquette for going to a friend’s place for dinner, Deborah believes you should “always take a drink, flowers, box of chocolates or something small, just a small gesture to say ‘I appreciate you having me here’” – even if you’ve been asked to bring nothing.
When Dan suggested dishes should be left until the morning when everyone’s feeling more energetic, Deb laughed and said it would be better for his marriage to start the cleanup instead.
Her tip is to quietly pop plates in the dishwasher in between dinner and dessert, so that there’s only one final load to go at the end of the night.
“By the time everyone leaves and half the stuff is done, you know your wife’s happy with you because the place looks clean,” she said.
Entertaining Made Easy is available in bookstores now.