We’ve got you the ideal Christmas gift: a recipe for hosting the perfect Christmas dinner at your home! Follow our 10 tips to ensure your kitchen is ready for the festivities.
1. Kitchen Islands: A Cracker of a feature
Kitchen islands and peninsulas are the gifts that keep on giving, especially when cooking large meals and hosting guests. An island gives you an extra workspace to chop your vegetables, prepare the turkey, or even offer up appetisers to your guests, as well as a range of additional kitchen storage. Islands can also enhance your kitchen’s function as the social hub of the house, being used to offer extra seating for guests.
2. T’is the season for reliable, state-of-the-art appliances
Do you have the appliances to match your Christmas day ambitions? Preparing the dinner can be stressful at the best of times, but investing in state-of-the-art, multifunctional appliances can be the difference between a rushed, panic-ridden preparation and an enjoyable culinary experience. Steam ovens, for instance, are excellent for preparing multiple ingredients and instilling flavour, while ovens with warming drawers are perfect for ensuring food stays hot in between courses and prep time. Dishwashers also make life much easier when preparing Christmas dinner – a pile of dirty dishes is the last thing people want to see!
3. Set the standard for table setting
If you’re hosting Christmas dinner this year, it’s important to think about how you’re going to set the table, from both a decorative and functional point of view. The table is the focal point of the day, it is where your guests will spend most of their time. While you want your delicious feast to do most of the talking, extras such as candles, centrepieces, room decorations, comfortable chairs and cushions, and lights help get people into the festive mood. In terms of practicality, only place the necessities on the table – this is not a time for unnecessary clutter.
Dust off your fine china, whip out your fairy lights and festive tablecloth, and make sure this Christmas dinner is a treat for the eyes, as well as the stomach!
4. Santa’s got his list ready, but have you made a start on yours?
Start preparing now, and organising Christmas will become a lot more seamless. Put one or two dinner items on your shopping list each week between now and 25th December to save yourself from that horrible last-minute Christmas shop where you have to find everything you need in one visit to the supermarket. It’s also worth ordering your turkey way in advance to guarantee you get the one you want and don’t have to think about it over the coming months. Other tasks to consider closer to the day are:
a) Removing clutter from worktops to ensure an obstacle-free workspace.
b) Organising your fridge and cupboards, getting rid of anything you are unlikely to use between now and the end of the year.
c) Defrosting your freezer to create space and enhance its ability to keep food frozen.
d) Picking up the basics (bin liners, washing up liquid etc) days in advance. You don’t want to be dashing around on Christmas eve looking for the nearest shop still open!
e) Cleaning the dishwasher and oven.
f) Test all the appliances and utensils before the big day.
5. A great kitchen layout is not just for Christmas
Is your kitchen layout as practical and efficient as it should be? A lot of people are going to be in your kitchen, so make sure there is plenty of space for them to walk around and sit. It can be frustrating for the chef if people are constantly bumping into them while they’re basting the turkey, or if they have to skirt around open cabinets and the oven door in a tightly packed kitchen layout. Be sure to place items that guests are likely to want to grab – such as cups, snacks and drinks – in another room. If you want to change your overall kitchen design, get in touch with one of our expert retailers after checking out our guides to choosing the perfect kitchen and saving space with clever design techniques.
6. Yule never regret practical storage and workspace solutions
Clever storage solutions can save a lot of time and space in a kitchen, making them the perfect feature for those in charge of preparing the dinner. Kitchen island shelfing, pantries, hidden cupboards, hangers, shelves and innovative kitchen cabinets can make the room neater, more practical and extra organised. As the chef is likely to deal with a lot of waste – vegetable skins, packaging and the like – it is worth placing a second bin close to their workstation. Make sure all ingredients and cooking utensils are also stored in a sensible and convenient place to maximise efficiency and avoid wasting time looking for things.
7. Deck the halls with festive cheer
Creating a friendly, welcoming and festive ambience at Christmas should not be too difficult, as most people are merry this time of year anyway. However, the best way to avoid hangry guests and the infamous fall-out over charades is to splash a bit of festive cheer over the room. This can be achieved by filling your kitchen and dining area with scented candles – consider aromas such as spiced fig, mulled wine and cider, freshly baked cookies, pine and cinnamon – and playing some timeless Christmas classics throughout the day. For more tips, check out our blog on kitchen Christmas decorations!
8. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Enough room to seat all my guests!
A common dilemma for Christmas dinner hosts is ensuring there is enough room and furniture for guests to sit around the table together. If you know you’ve invited more guests than there is room, now is the time to look for a new dining table and chairs. Think of this as an investment that will further enrich your kitchen, especially if you regularly host groups of guests.
9. Get into the festive spirit
Make sure your guests stay entertained and engaged with one another with festive music, comfortable seating options, delicious snacks and fun games. This keeps people occupied and out of the kitchen during prep time, too!
10. Have yourself a merry Christmas
Christmas is a time to be spent with your loved ones. What better way to get into the festive spirit than to prepare the dinner together? Don’t let one person in your family slave away in the kitchen while you enjoy the day; assign each other tasks for the Christmas dinner and it’ll make eating it all that more special and rewarding.