Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Welcoming Guests Into Your Home

Image above from Home and Harmony - oh to have such a pretty front door!!

Recently, I taped a few things to watch while breastfeeding Sophie and found myself enjoying an episode of The Darling Buds Of May. For those not familiar with the series, it features the boisterous Larkin family and their life on Hope Farm, a family who welcomed anyone and everyone who entered their home with generous hearts and plenty of drink and food.

It made me think about the guests who find their way into my home. Do I make them feel welcome no matter whether they are invited or turn up unexpectedly? Do I have something on hand to offer them to eat or drink or do I have to apologise for my empty fridge and not having done the grocery shopping yet that week?

My Dad used to always tend to pop in for a quick visit and coffee on his way home from work, usually around the time when I was preparing tea. His timing definitely wasn’t intentional though. Sometimes, I would ask him to join us and make the meal stretch to feed three. Other times, I’d only bought two pieces of steak or only had enough leftover casserole to serve two. I wish now, more than ever that I had somehow ‘made do’, that I had shared the pieces of steak between us three and rustled up some side dish, even if it was only a scoop of baked beans. Dad wouldn’t have minded what was on the menu. He just would have appreciated the invitation and the chance to stay a bit longer and catch up with us.

How do you rate on this type of thing? Do you consider yourself a welcoming host?


  1. I must admit - I am not a fan of unexpected guests :(


  2. I have thought along the same lines.. I am no good at having yummies in the pantry just in case someone pops in because i end up eating them! So now i always have a cake packets mix and a bag of choc chips to throw in and make choc chip cupcakes in a matter of 15 minutes - easy! :)))

  3. Oh, it's lovely in theory, isn't it: the notion of someone turning up on your doorstep to say hello. But in reality it's a pain! Most people have their days planned out, and with children, it's even more of an issue. If you're not dealing with a messy mealtime, you're probably trying to get one to sleep! My husband grew up in a small town in NZ where people just knocked on people's doors and were welcomed with tea and cake. He loved it. I'd be happy if people could just give a bit of notice so I can bake something and more importantly, pick up the clothes and half-eaten rice crackers scattered around the floor!

  4. My husband is wonderful at inviting people in and making them feel at home. I'm not. I know I'm not. I struggle with guests at the best of times but I really need to be prepared or I just feel on edge.

    I'd love to change that - I want my boys to feel able to invite friends home without me feeling stressed and invaded!

  5. I always try and make do. A bit of extra bread or pasta will randomly work with most things!

    P.S I love feeding and watching taped programmes at the same time! xx

  6. It is an interesting one.... I guess the point of it all is to just enjoy the company of the person dropping in and not worry about the state of the house. If they are a true friend they will be understanding and not give it a second thought. I often don't have goodies but if they are just dropping by for a quick visit, I am sure a cuppa is just fine. ;-)

  7. I also am not a fan of unexpected guests. My husband is much more welcoming to unexpected guests than I am. I like to have a heads up on when someone is coming. That way I am prepared with (somewhat) of a clean house and drinks and snacks on hand.

  8. I'd like to think I'm a welcoming host but the reality is I'd go into a panic at the idea of something landing on my doorstep unannounced.

    My house is rarely in a state fit for guests unless I have advance notice of their arrival.

  9. I try my best to be a welcoming host but having guests over actually makes me quite nervous. I like things to just be neat and tidy and just right. I know it doesn't matter with my true friends, I'm sure they wouldn't mind if things didn't look just right. I really love the idea of having friends just pop over but I really like to just be that bit more mentally prepared. xx

  10. Gorgeous door & how funny does Catherine Zeta-Jones look in Darling Buds, so young & unHollywood, naturally beautiful though.
    I think i'll be a much happier & welcoming host in my own home, sick of living in Army housing & not actually decorating or feeling like it's ever my style. Love Posie

  11. I used to be much better at this, pre-baby. Had a great recipes for 'pinolates' - a yummy nutty, macroony biscuit - which kept in the fridge for a few weeks. So I just needed to roll up some balls and pop them in the oven when people were over...A ready made bowl of mixture would make a good gift for a new Mama, come to think of it! (but wouldn't look that pretty!)

    I had the Karen Martini recipe, but found one similar here:



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