Your guide to hosting sweet summer house parties

Oh yes, summer is almost here!!!

So pop your thinking cap on and get prepared to jazz up your entertaining space so it’s in tip-top shape for summer soirees, all season long.

Here are my top five ways to keep your summer house party cool and under control.

1. Serve yourself
Let’s be honest, you don’t want anyone and everyone waltzing through your ‘perfectly curated’ home just to get their mitts on a fresh bottle of plonk. They could easily knock over Aunt Ethel’s urn, or they could tramp a sticky Vodka Cruiser mess all through your living room.

A servery into your kitchen will keep the pesky buggers outside – and you can keep an eye on things while being the purveyor of drinks right from your kitchen stronghold. It’s best to sort out this kind of detail in your pre-build days. If it’s an afterthought, a sledgehammer will make light work of an obtrusive kitchen wall; if not, an outdoor fridge or a few eskies will suffice for now.

2. Keep the kids busy
A little physical activity never goes astray at a party, especially when you’ve got mates coming over with their kids – big or little. A ping pong table will always help to keep them entertained.

When the little ones hit the hay, the more lively among us might like to bring out the classic college party red plastic cups and a few ping pong balls and have a game of beer pong. This is one game that’s sure to keep any boisterous friends busy ‘yewing’ long into the night.

3. Pump up the tunes
A good selection of well-curated tunes will liven the deadest of parties, but it can also shut down the wildest of Corey Worthington-inspired ‘get-togethers’ faster than a well-timed power outage. Place speakers where you want your friends to be, whether that’s in the kitchen, the garage or the backyard.

The best option for this are the nifty Bluetooth boomboxes that are getting around these days.

They’re hard to hijack, pretty much spill-proof and you’ll always be in control of the music. The control centre can be your smartphone, so keep it on you at all times (or your guests might see your playlist of Celine Dion remixes).

4. Have your chopping blocks at the ready
A well-appointed chopping block is a dinner host’s best friend – it’s ultimately a canvas for the mixed medium cheese and salami artwork you’ve been working on for the past three hours. Use it to serve the perfect antipasto platter or a round of Aperol spritzes.

The best-looking boards are butcher’s blocks with the end-grain sticking up, but like any great artwork, be prepared to pay for quality.

Keep your boards looking brand new with a lemon juice and bicarb soda scrub every so often and you’ll always have the perfect tool for dinner parties.

5. Expect to get your clean on
The clean up is imperative to any great party. Make it easy and you’ll happily commit to a dozen or so ‘get-togethers’ every summer, but make it hard and you’ll lock yourself away for the entire season, never to socialise again.

This is where the ShamWow* comes in. Yes it may be very (very) cliché, but the thing works and you’ll wonder how you ever cleaned up before.

A new ShamWow will soak up a full lemon raspberry UDL in two seconds flat, with enough room left in it to tidily dispose of any projected remnants of that friend who had ‘one too many’. Your home will be spotless in a jiffy and you’ll be ready to do it all again in no time.

Happy entertaining, guys!