One of the (countless) reasons I love summer in the city is that it feels like the perfect season to finally catch up with people. The days are longer, the outdoor activities are aplenty, and unlike other seasons in NYC (ahem, winter), it’s easier to just text “hey, I’m in your hood, want to grab a drink?”, and then do an impromptu get together.
While it’s certainly fun to meet at tried and true bars, or try a new one, it’s always nice to have the option of meeting in the comfort of your own home. In order to help you be prepared for any last minute catch up with friends at your apartment, I put together a few tips.
Have a few staple foods in your fridge/pantry at all times.
For a casual catch up, I love to put together a cheese board–so easy, and unless your guest happens to be vegan/dairy-free, this is pretty much one of those things that everyone loves. On the board (I use a cutting board), I put 3 cheeses (1 hard, 1 medium, and 1 soft), nuts, dried fruit (or fresh fruit if you have it on hand), crackers, Cornichons or olives, and a bit of dark chocolate. You can literally just throw it all on there together, and it’s good to go!
Have a bottle of champagne/sparkling water chilling in the fridge, and a favorite bottle of wine ready to be uncorked.
Champagne is a must, because you never know when a cause for celebration may pop up. But I always like to have wine with an interesting story around too, because what New Yorker doesn’t like chatting about wine?! This Purple Heart wine is a current favorite, as the wine makers donate a portion of the proceeds to the Purple Heart Foundation, which provides desperately needed programs to assist America’s Veterans with new Service Dogs, Educational Scholarships, resources to help cope with Post Traumatic Stress, and necessary funding for research to heal those suffering with Traumatic Brain Injuries. I love that something as simple as buying a bottle of wine can help make a difference in the lives of our men and woman in uniform.
Have your go-to playlists ready and playing.
Totally a matter of personal preference (I tend to swing towards the jazz stations on Spotify, but anything works!), the key here is to have background music playing when your guest arrives–much more conducive to conversation than the TV streaming in the background. I sync my iPhone to a tiny little speaker with big impact, it works like a charm.
Abide by the 15 minute clean-up rule.
You guys may remember me singing the praises of this rule in the past (I swear by it.) Basically, try to always have your apartment in a state that, within 15 minutes of cleaning, the main section you’ll be using for hanging out in will be presentable for guests. Even if this means that all clutter is moved to your bedroom;-)
Make a weekly trip to the bodega for fresh flowers.
I’m not of the camp that fresh flowers are a must all year round–but there’s something nice about having blooms indoors during the sunny months. Luckily for us, these can be found cheaply on basically every corner at your local bodega ($10 will get you a gorgeous bouquet, and $5 will get you just the right amount.) The simple trick I’ve found for keeping these alive for a week is to change out the water every. single. day. If you do this religiously (like, when you make your morning coffee), they will stay pretty, pretty all week long.
Would love to know…do you have any summertime entertaining tips? Share below!