holiday entertaining essentials that won’t live in a box all year
Published Nov 22, 2016 6:00 AM
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We’re not sure why, but entertaining essentials seem to be more of a priority at the holidays. Sure, your hosting calendar is filled with dinners, cocktail parties, and brunches, but it’s not like the house is silent the rest of the year. When shopping for entertaining items to have on-hand this holiday season, shop with the future in mind, too. Here, we’ve picked our must-haves that can be used all year long, and not live in a box buried under the ornaments. (Psst! Don’t forget to enter to win a $1,000 shopping spree + personal concierge shopping service at ATGStores.com!)
Not just a hosting essential, the cheese board can be used to serve both the perfect appy at gatherings and your own personal mid-day snack. You’ll enjoy your own “me time” cheese plates much more when its served on this beautiful marble board, complete with a glass of wine.
Winter dishes call for a cooking vessel like this one. But, did you know you can bake bread in them, too? Once you’ve got one, you’ll be surprised how many ways you find to enjoy it.
At holiday parties, allow your guests the chance to prove their mixology prowess, and use it the rest of the year to pour something perfect for yourself. When not in use, it adds a sense of elegance to a home bar of any size.
Obviously they hold cake beautifully. But, think bigger! Wouldn’t this cake plate make the perfect place for cupcakes or macaron varieties during the next shower or birthday you host? We’d also love to see a beautiful glass cloche moment happen with one of these, too.
You can host without them, but do you really want to? When coasters run shy, you’ll be glad you’ve got these around to keep condensation at bay and hands clean.
We can’t stress this enough: Decant your whiskey. There’s nothing that kills the elegance of a bar setup like a lame label on a bottle. The romance of pouring out of a beautiful crystal set like this beats the original packaging any day.
Family-style dishes are too meaningful to be served out of tin foil. Keep a beautiful platter on hand that’s large enough to serve a crowd and pretty enough to wow one.
No, you cannot use two forks. Get a proper salad serving set to dole out greens and veggies like a grown-up, at the holidays and well beyond.
A large carafe would work well, too, but the overall point is that no one wants to get up to refill individual water glasses during any dinner party, holiday or otherwise (and the plastic pitchers lying around scream “lemonade stand” a little too loudly).
Up the elegance of virtually any appetizer by simply stashing it here. Even the most simple of dips and sauces get an instant upgrade with this cool, utilitarian design.
Salads, pastas, and other items too intense for shallow serving situations are certainly on our holiday menus, but a versatile vessel like this will also be just as useful and welcome during summer barbecues.
Hosting 101 taught us that large batch drinks keep us from playing bartender all night, and a dispenser like this provides a stationary drink station guests will feel comfortable serving themselves from.
First of all, the foil thingies that pre-made crusts come in just aren’t going to cut it. And, second of all, we need to get in the habit of making pie year-round. We just do.
Digital music is just fine, but you can’t beat the romance of records. Designate one friend or family member to play a few favorites during cocktail hour and watch how easily you start incorporating this into your nightly routine, when the house is guest-free.
Tumbler wine was cute for a little while, but no more. Keep a proper set of wine glasses around and confidently serve the vintage of your choice, any time. A matching set of wine glasses also adds to the overall beauty of your holiday tablescape.
Admit it: string lights are just as cute and effective on a patio in summer as they are on a tree or strung at the mantle during the holidays. Have a few strands on-hand all year for when things need a little illuminating.
Where a beautiful bird is both the main dish and centerpiece of a holiday table, we think you’ll also find that roasting your own chicken during the year will come in handy, too. Use what’s left to make stock that you’ll add to countless recipes all year.
A word on charger plates: while some prefer a more minimalist table approach, charger plates are the perfect way to pull together a table that’s feeling lackluster. We also can’t get enough copper around the house, and the metallic hue will fit right in with holiday themes.
The days of the one-bottle bucket are gone. Larger vessels allow you to chill enough vino for the whole crowd. And, when the party belongs to the little ones, toss in juice boxes aplenty for backyard hangouts.
Here’s the thing, salt shakers aren’t very elegant. Top your table with chic salt boxes for a more polished approach to the table. Better still, using these while cooking makes for much more precise seasoning.
You’re more likely to need coasters at the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you want them to be an eyesore in the living room the rest of the year. A striking stone set will be a welcome sight in any season.
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