Southern Comfort – Entertaining Out of Town Guests Made Easy

So if you are like many of us you have already begun to receive your summer guests.
Oh we knew that they were coming.  It is no surprise.
Treasured email messages started arriving in the early New Year…” we are looking at the calendar and either June 21st until the 2nd of July Or the July  15th-28th. Let us know which one of those dates works for you guys.  We can’t wait to come and see you!”

The idea of entertaining guests for 10 days to 2 weeks can cause even the most savvy of entertainers heart to flutter.

That’s because being a good host or hostess can take a lot of hard work and energy. I always say if you are going to do it why not go for great!


Consider these tips to help you deliver your brand of Southern Comfort.

  1. Know Your Guests – what are their likes and dislikes.  Will you be entertaining adults or children?  What is their activity level? Are hikes appropriate?  Knowing your guests will help ensure that you line up food and entertainment that is sure to be a hit!
  2. How Much Time Are You Going To Spend With Your Guests – You may have to work while your guests are visiting leaving you limited amount of time to entertain.  Take stock of your schedule.  Fill in your absent hours with a combination of scheduled and optional activities for your guests. Fill your one-on-one time with special activities.
  3. Something For Everyone – Make sure that there is something scheduled for everyone in the group.  For instance maybe mom would like to shop while dad wants to golf and the kids want to go wake-boarding.
  4. Get Buy-In – Go over your plan in advance with your guests.  Ask them how the plan sounds, if you missed anything that they would like to do or conversely scheduled anything that they would rather not do.  Have your guests help out as much as possible.  Everyone likes to feel helpful plus it is not very restful to watch someone else run around and do all of the work.
    Involve your guests in dinner preparation.  Ask someone to help one of your children set the table, another to cut vegetables for salad, another to mix a picture of iced tea…
    I make a point of involving my guests in making dessert.  We might make our own ice-cream early in the day or dessert right after dinner so we can smell it cooking in the oven while we are waiting.  I have found guests find this experience relaxing and that they often like learning a new recipe.
  5. What’s For Dinner? – Often the question dreaded most by working parents.  Create a menu for the visit.  Include Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, refreshments and dessert within your daily menu.  Don’t forget to ask about special dietary requirements, intolerances and favourite meals.  If guests are staying a week or longer consider having dinner out one night to give yourself a little break.  When creating your menu consider the following criteria – can be assembled and cooked in under 30 minutes, BBQ use is great for minimizing cleaning of pots and pans, preference to dishes that can be prepped the night before.
  6. Involve Everyone – Make sure that you have a family meeting prior to your guests arrival and discuss how you can make your visitors stay extra special.  Allow everyone to take ownership of various activities or initiatives.
  7. Create Memories – With your individual guests and collectively with your entire guest party.  Creating a memory often can be simply accomplished by making a guest feel seen, heard and appreciated as the unique individual that they are.  Knowing that a child in your guest party is crazy over kangaroos and then arranging to take them to the local kangaroo farm will create a lasting memory.  First time events can create lasting memories.  Something as simple as preparing dinner and then wrap it up to eat at the beach can be fun for everyone!
  8. Checklist – to help you remember to get stuff ready for your guests arrival. Room Ready – extra blankets, curtains for privacy, bath towels, trash can, place to store luggage and belongings. Why don’t you go all out and upgrade that bed cover, buy some fresh flowers and local specialty soaps. Our guests find it really lovely that we have a screen in their room to allow them to watch Netflix. Make sure to also include leaving your guests the Wi-Fi password and instructions on how to use your home TV or stereo systems. Ensure that things are easy to find and operate for your guests.
Leave your guests the wifi password, so you don't have to remember to tell them!

ADD IN MORE STUFF!

TOP 10 FAVOURITE THINGS TO RECOMMEND GUESTS DO WHILE VISITING

  • Trip to the Farmers Market – Saturday in Penticton & Sunday in Summerland
  • Beach Time – Summerland, Penticton or Osoyoos
  • Go For A Walk – Downtown or along the Waterfront
  • Skate Park – Summerland
  • Hike – Summerland – Giants Head Mountain
     – Penticton – Skaha Bluffs
  • Float the Channel – Penticton
  • Bike – Kettle Valley Rail Trail
  • Race – Area 27 – Osoyoos
  • Tickleberries Ice Cream – Okanagan Falls
  • Take in an Events & Festival –
  • Wine Touring – Summerland, Penticton & Osoyoos
  • Kettle Valley Steam Train Ride – Summerland

TOP 10 FAVOURITE GUEST VISITOR MEALS

Home made pizza – everyone makes their own & salad
BBQ – Hamburgers, sausage, corn on the cob & salad
BBQ – Grilled Shrimp, Rice & Mixed Sauteed Vegetables
BBQ – Chicken, Diced Tin Foil Potatoes with shallots/spices, Carrots & Caesar Salad
BBQ – Greek Gyros – Lamb/Chicken/Beef Shish kabobs, Greek Salad & Wraps
Fish Tacos – Make Your Own Tacos with Guacamole & Vegetables
Pasta – Shrimp or Beef Pasta with Tomato Sauce & Garlic Bread
Cobb Salad – Corn Bread
BBQ – Chicken Caesar Salad – Crostini
BBQ – Steak Sandwiches with Fries & Zucchini Sticks

Breakfast Ideas
Pancakes & Fruit
Yogurt & Fruit Toast
Eggs, Bacon, Potatoes & Toast
Cereal & Toast
Chocolate Croissants & Juice
Frittata

Lunch Ideas
Sandwiches
Sausage on Bun
Poutine
Pasta Salad
Asian Lettuce Wraps

Snack Ideas
Chips/Pop Corn
Hummus & Crackers
Cheese, Meats & Crackers
Vegetable Tray
Snack Bars
Ice Cream/Sorbet
Banana/Lemon Loaf
Watermelon

Dessert Ideas
Chocolate Cake & Ice Cream
Make Your Own Sundae’s
Caramelized Pineapple Polenta Cake
Make Your Own Ice Cream Cookies
Seasonal Fruit Crumble With Whipped Cream
Lemon, Raspberry or Almond Tart with Whipped Cream
TIP: If your guest group is 8 or more opt for Tray style desserts

Happy entertaining! 🙂

Deborah Moore
Broker Owner
RE/MAX Orchard Country in Summerland
RE/MAX Penticton Realty on Skaha Lake Rd & Main St
RE/MAX Realty Solutions in Osoyoos

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