Hosting is a big part of Ramadan. From Iftars and Suhoors to spending time with family and friends, the Holy Month is filled with activities and get-togethers whether you’re fasting or not. Cities comes to life with evening events and a welcoming atmosphere that unities people across cultures in the act of celebration, reflection and kindness.
If you are holding your first ever Iftar or preparing for a family gathering, we’ve put together some top tips for ensuring you can be the perfect host and that your guests will have an unforgettable experience.
Welcome One And All
Create a welcoming environment for your guests across your whole event. Consider their needs when catering, add in a few delightful surprises where you can and encourage your guests to make themselves at home. They will definitely appreciate it.
Lights, Camera, Action
Just like on a movie set, lighting is crucial to the atmosphere of your occasion. The perfect lighting for an evening event, particularly if held outside, is candlelight. From grand, elegant candlesticks to sparkling centrepieces or illuminating candleholders, the flickering light is inviting, flattering and immediately lets your guests know you are hosting a special occasion.
Mix And Match
Take time to think about your mix of guests and any seating plan you might be using. Make sure you have a selection of people who will make the night go swimmingly. It always helps to make sure you have included some real ‘talkers’ who like to keep everyone involved, particularly for those moments you might be trapped in the kitchen.
If you are hosting Iftar and some of your guests have been fasting, make sure you have dates and milk readily laid out for them so they can break their fast swiftly if required.
A Change of Scenery
Consider having different places for your guests to gather, particularly if they are likely to be at your home for a while. The party could seamlessly transition from outside welcome snacks to a seated dinner table inside and then to a more relaxed evening chat in your living room on comfy sofas and armchairs. Your guests will love the flexibility and it will break the evening up.
A Quiet Place
For your guests who may have to pray, make sure you have designated a separate room with a calm atmosphere for them to use.
Prep, Prep, Prep
Hosting is stressful, particularly for large groups or important occasions. Make your job a bit easier by choosing dishes that can be prepared in advance. You will be thankful on the day and your guests will appreciate seeing more of you.
The Little Touches
Hosting doesn’t have to be opulent or grandiose for it to be beautiful and memorable. Try adding a stylish tea light centrepiece or silver star and moon decorations to your dining table. Make sure your drinks are always cool with elegant ice buckets and that your guests have all the cutlery, napkins and tableware they will need at their reach. It is the little touches that will make all the difference.
It Takes A Village
Let your guests help you and help themselves. You might want to accommodate all of your guests’ needs yourself and be the ultimate host, but in big groups this isn’t always possible. Having a buffet element to the evening will ensure no one goes hungry and letting guests that want to help with clearing up will make them feel useful and part of the family.
Obviously the most important thing when hosting is the food, or at least that’s the bit we love! So we wanted to share a delicious recipe that is perfect for Iftar or Suhoor and is the kind of recipe any level of cook can master. This traditional Moroccan Bastila is sweet and savoury, totally warming and full of flavour.