As the festive season rocks around again, many of us will find our kitchens transformed from an area to feed the immediate family into a space to entertain the masses.

Quite often, this entertaining occurs while simultaneously trying to cook a meal as well. It’s multi-tasking gone mad, but it’s also fun, sociable and heart-warming and, for many, the essence of what Christmas is all about.

Here are a few of our thoughts on how to make sure your kitchen can handle the hoards…

Be prepared

There’s a saying about the 5 P’s. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. If you’re hosting Christmas this year then make this little gem your mantra. Chop, peel and prep as much as you can in advance. Plus, don’t forget your timings and set alarms if necessary. It’s all too easy to get distracted by a nice sherry with Auntie Joan only to find the sprouts have turned to mush.

Island life

A large kitchen island is a life saver if you’re the sort who likes to cook AND socialise. Try to zone the area so that any prep is happening at one end or side of the island, while nibbles are located at the other. This way, rather than being ‘stuck in the kitchen’ you can still be central to all the fun and merriment as guests keep popping by for another olive and a quick chink of a champagne glass. Cheers!

Delegate

Split the tasks so that one of you ‘hosts’ (fixes people drinks, takes coats etc.) while the other cooks. It sounds obvious, but if you deviate from your tasks then one person ends up spinning plates while the other just seems to have their feet up. Decide in advance who is going to do what and stick to it.

Drinks storage

If you like to host on a regular basis then a separate wine cooler or even a bespoke bar area could be a welcome addition to your home. At Rencraft, we’ve noticed that dedicated drinks storage has seen a surge in popularity with what used to be seen as a ‘nice to have’ luxury now becoming a ‘must have’ consideration in many of our client’s kitchen designs.

Relax

Above all, enjoy yourself! After all, if people are spending Christmas with you then hopefully they’re close friends or family, so they shouldn’t mind helping themselves to a refill or chipping in with a bit of food prep. Dispense with all the unnecessary pressure we often put on ourselves to host the perfect event. Simply relax and enjoy yourself, because a happy host results in a happy guest.

Have a wonderful Christmas!