5 Festive Brunch Tips
If you are not a confident host – and let’s face it, many of us aren’t – opening your home for brunch over the Christmas holiday can be a perfect way to get started. The great thing about brunch is that there are few expectations from guests. The whole idea is for brunch to be informal, friendly and fun. In this way it couldn’t be more fitting for this time of year. It’s all about spending time with those you love, sharing food, drink and good company. In other words, you can’t go wrong. But for those who like an extra bit of magic sparkle at this time of year, here are 5 festive brunch tips for an effortlessly fabulous celebration.
1. Be relaxed
Ok, at the top of our festive brunch tips is to remember it is fairly flexible. I like to invite guests for 10am-ish and eat around 11am. This way, if calendars are tight, guests have the afternoon free for something else or you can incorporate it into a shopping trip, gentle walk or sporting event. Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are particularly popular times to host brunch. They give guests an opportunity to relax and unwind with friends, and can be a good way to show gratitude to those who have taken on the tasks of hosting Christmas dinner and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
2. Make it a treat
Brunch is that in-between meal that is more substantial than breakfast but lighter than lunch. The foods that are served fit somewhere between the two as well. It could be served at either. e.g. pastries, scones, fruit, muffins, cheese, bread, bagels, sandwiches, cold meats, smoked salmon, sausages, pancakes bacon and egg dishes. In other words it is all the treats of breakfast and lunch rolled into one. The key thing is to choose dishes that can either be prepared beforehand or need as little preparation as possible. Don’t forget the kids. Make pancakes into Reindeer, serve freshly squeezed juice cocktails, fruit kebabs with yogurt dips and of course, mini bacon and eggs. They’ll love it!
3. Take the sweat out of preparation
The last thing you want to do when hosting a brunch is to spend all morning in the kitchen when you could be catching up with your guests. Prepare what you can ahead of time. Scones can be frozen and are delicious heated up on the morning. Fruit salads can be made the night before. Banana bread will stay moist for four days, as well as being great toasted. If you are keen to go for more of a cooked breakfast taste, sausages and bacon taste just as good baked in the oven as fried. Baked egg dishes are also less messy and labour intensive.
4. Add a touch of sparkle
Number four on our list of festive brunch tips, and one of my favourites, is that Christmas brunch needs a bit of sparkle. A traditional Bucks Fizz served in Champagne flutes is still a popular choice for a welcome drink. You can add a modern twist by using clementine instead of orange juice. So that the drivers among you aren’t stuck with plain orange juice, you can also serve up a non-alcoholic cocktail, such as this virgin mimosa recipe from Food Viva.
5. Remember the essentials
When you want everything to be special for your guests it can be easy to forget the small things that can create a fabulous feeling. For example, serving tea and coffee in pots instead of handing out mugs. Creating ambience with Christmas carols or other festive music. Offering individual gifts which can double up as place markers. And making sure your bathroom has plenty of paper, moisturising hand wash and hand cream. The most important thing for a fabulous brunch is to make your guests feel comfortable and welcome. The best way to do that is for you to keep focused on the real reason you’re all together and enjoy the day too.
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