A Beginners Guide to Vegan Entertaining

A Beginners Guide to Vegan Entertaining

I recorded a solo Q&A episode for my podcast on Friday, and sitting down to answer the questions people had asked me on social media one made me pause a little. 

“Does being vegan ever affect your social life?” 

Hmmm. I caught my breath as I found a good answer to this. Yes? I guess it probably has to be totally honest. It totally has. But in a good way.

I’ve been veggie (on and off) since I was a teenager. And vegan (on and off!) for a few years. TOTALLY on for a year now. And in that time there’s been a heap of stumbling blocks, although when you know me you know I don’t consider these to be an issue anyway……

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Anyway, as I’ve become comfortable in my veganism and found regular places to eat, brilliant substitutes for old faves and well worn recipes I turn to again and again there’s one thing I’ve struggled with a little. Until now anyway.

flatlay image of ice water and vintage suitcases

Not a natural host 

I’ve always HATED entertaining. Playing host is literally my least favourite thing to do. The potential for a cooking related disaster is stressful, coupled with the etiquette: ‘How many bottles of wine should I provide?!” and: “Do crisps and dip count as a starter?” make me very sweaty palmed indeed. 

But with my endeavours to reduce my waste and the fact my entire family is now vegan, I’ve found a bit of a sweet spot in the kitchen. I have old classics I can cook easily, knowing they’ll turn out how they’re supposed to. 

Being vegan certainly adds an element of: ‘F@ck, this needs to be EXTRA yummy” when you’re cooking for carnivores but it also reduces the fear of food poisoning massively (except rice…..always be careful with rice!) 

Anyway. As we’ve moved to a new area, with a bigger space for entertaining and a bigger community of people we want to hang out with we’ve been bold and played host a fair few times now. 

shot of gallery picture wall through monochrome light pendant

Entertaining, vegan-style

Keeping it all simple is the aim of ALL my endeavours. Seriously. I can’t cope with too much faff so I pick a simple dish I’ve cooked (and loved) before. Save the jazzy showstoppers for bake-off. 

I LOVE the Hot for Food Vegan Comfort Classics cookbook by Lauren Toyota  cookbook, or Ainé Carlin’s Keep it Vegan one. Both well loved and very well used!

pretty autumnal wreath hung on white wall

Add some ambience with a Spotify playlist and make sure you and your guests are in a chilled, chat-friendly atmosphere.

I know that sounds silly, but our flat is very minimal so if we stuck to sitting on the bits of furniture officially designated for sitting we’d be uncomfortable and forced to talk across rooms (we have one sofa!)

So we always have a few floor cushions so people can sit and chat easily before we sit down to eat.

Add some pretty cutlery & crockery and some flowers too. I have a few in my garden and use the dried flower wreath I made at The Nature Sessions, plus some dreamy glasses

tiny baby lounging on chaise longue
Keeping it louche……

So, not a natural host but a reluctantly okay one nonetheless. Are you a natural host or, like me, do you prefer to be waited on?!

Share your top hosting tips in the comments!

L x

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2 Comments

  1. 25th September 2018 / 1:11 pm

    I *love* hosting. It is a big happy making thing for me, so I try to do it as much as possible – but regardless, whether you love it or hate it, the principles are the same, like you say.

    Make your own job as easy as possible (never try a new dish on the day!), ply people with booze (if that’s a thing they like), always over-cater than under-cater (leftovers > hungry guests) and remember it’s supposed to be fun!

    I have never once gone to someone else’s house and been underwhelmed – that could be because I have friends who are ace hosts (which they are) but also probably also because it’s just fun not to have to cook for yourself, to poke around other people’s houses and to spend time with people you love – which is really all that matters. Oven pizzas or takeaway is as valid as a five course meal whipped up from scratch!

    • Lucy
      Author
      7th December 2018 / 10:13 am

      That makes me feel a LOT better! I’ve been hosting a lot more recently and finding my groove with it 🙂

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