It sometimes seems that winter is one of the busiest periods in our home. The kids bring back their new nursery friends that they’ve made since the term started, and we get a lot of family and friends visiting from all over the UK. We always make sure we have supplies to handle this influx of guests, but I wouldn’t like to claim to be as prepared as a host of a B&B or hotel! Here are just a few of my own tried and tested tips to make guests feel a little bit more welcome when they come to stay, even if it’s just for a couple of hours.
Some guests only stop with us for a short while, perhaps for a coffee or even their dinner. However long they are with us, I generally stick to the following rules:
Offer hot food and drinks: a blustery day is never enjoyable, so when people have arrived at my doorstep, the offer of a hot drink never fails to bring a smile to their face. I always ask if they’re hungry too, and if so, I’ll make sure there is a steaming bowl of soup or stew in front of them in minutes.
Make sure there is space to hang coats: once someone steps over the threshold, I want them to feel as comfortable as possible. In my opinion this starts the moment they hand you their coat or take off their shoes. Let people know where they can put their belongings without them having to ask you.
Check that the temperature is right: If someone has been outside for quite a while, you should probably check if they want to sit in a warm place next to a radiator or the fireplace. It’s always polite to enquire about whether someone is too warm or cold as you are able to make adjustments to the thermostat to suit them.
If guests are staying a night, two, or even more, I will go out of my way to make sure they are comfortable for the duration. It can be difficult playing host, but I know that my friends and family would do the same for me. Here is what I do:
Keep some drawers empty for overnight guests: save people from living out of their bag or suitcase by making sure they have some space to put their clothes in your wardrobe or drawers.
Have ample warm bedding: another thing to do is to provide lovely warm bedding for your guests so they can snuggle up at night time. My personal preference is putting a goose down duvet in my guest bedroom, as well as putting a pile of extra blankets and pillows at the foot of the bed.
Get the bathroom ready: finally, make sure that the bathroom is presentable for guests. We always try and keep mould to a minimum, and generally give the bath a good scrub down once a week. Bleaching is done daily in our house, and we wipe up toothpaste marks as we see them. It’s just a simple way to show your guests that you are considering their presence.