Lifestyle (Home, Travel, Family)

15 Entertaining Essentials For Hosting Gatherings At Home

round serving boards on wolf stove kitchen backsplash

With all the gatherings of the holiday season it was a good time to take inventory of what serving pieces I was lacking in my kitchen. I am not very detail oriented so I always end up hosting parties and figuring out what I need whilst in the midst of things. I’ve hosted enough that I’ve learned what I do and don’t use so I figured my list of essentials may help some of you a bit newer to hosting.

Salt and Pepper Shakers // Black Oil Dispenser // Clear Oil Dispenser // Large Wood Serving Board // Medium White Serving Board

My Favorite Places to Buy Serveware

I get the majority (but certainly not all) of my kitchen/serving items from Crate and Barrel and Target. I love Crate and Barrel for the simplistic and timeless styles. In addition, most of their pieces can be bought individually, so if you break a plate or glass you don’t need to buy an entire set to replace the item. Target really comes in at such a great price point while still maintaining good quality and style in their pieces.

Since moving to the beach I discovered a shop called Cailini Coastal where I’ve grabbed a few of my more COASTAL INSPIRED decorative items!

Must Have Entertaining Items

Here are some items I consider essentials in my kitchen when it comes to entertaining:

  1. Serving boards. From pizza, to cheese, to handheld apps, serving boards are a chic way to serve your guests in a casual chic way and a must have hostess item.
  2. Cheese & dip spreaders and knives.
  3. Appetizer plates. Let me be honest – I often throw out appetizer napkins rather than something that needs to be washed, but I just ordered some of these plates and I think I’d have been a more Pinteresting hostess if I’d done so sooner.
  4. Wine glasses. These break often if you entertain a fun crowd, so don’t break the bank. That’s again why I like Crate and Barrel, you can replace items individually or as sets.
  5. Plates are a personal decision. I’ve decided to use these very basic white plates for everyday dining as well as entertaining. For more formal occasions I dress them up with linen napkins and plate chargers and they make the perfect backdrop for these details. 
  6. Dessert plates. My dessert plates match my dinner plates!
  7. Dip bowls. Don’t go crazy, focus on what you are likely to serve. If you always serve chips and guac, get something that is well suited for these items. If you are a tapas extraordinaire, buy something with more, smaller serving spots.
  8. Larger bowls for chips, salads, and sides. I like to have a few larger bowls of varying depths. I like a deep salad bowl so I can toss it in the bowl without making a mess. For Thanksgiving side dishes, I like oven safe bowls and for kid friendly gatherings, I like a wood bowl that won’t shatter when the kids tip it over reaching in for snacks.
  9. Large platter. If you plan to serve a turkey you will want this a bit wider than if you mostly just serve burgers and dogs. In all these instances consider the occasions you tend to host. I have this large oblong platter and it’s great for pretty much everything except the turkey! My family cuts the turkey in the kitchen and serves it on a large platter like this one.
  10. Special editions. A gravy boat is necessary for Thanksgiving in my opinion but I never use mine outside of the holidays. I personally haven’t graduated to being adult enough to own a butter dish, but most of the great hostesses I know have one, so they seem like something I should suggest. I’m guilty of putting the butter on a dessert plate with the spreading knives I suggested above.
  11. Water pitcher. No explanation needed! But I use a pitcher and at summer gatherings, I offer a larger water dispenser for easier self serve refills.
  12. Serving utensils. Some that I would suggest: salad servers, serving tongs, meat forks, plenty of large spoons for casseroles, and an ice cream scoop.
  13. Dessert serveware. Pie plates, pie servers, cake plates, and ice cream scoops all fit in this category. Consider what you serve! I am not much of a cake baker but I store muffins on a cake stand for decorative appeal.
Amazon Cake Stand

14. Salt and pepper shakers. I have this wood salt and pepper shaker set from Amazon.

15. Containers for LEFTOVERS!!  I am so worried about running out of food we always have leftovers. That’s a win for me. I like to store leftovers in Pyrex containers because they are microwave and oven safe.

Cocktail Serveware is Another Animal!

Would you like to see my full cocktail serveware essentials in a follow up post?

Rattan Wrapped Martini Shaker // Coastal Ice Bucket
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