Friday, December 5, 2008


It's that time of year where many of us will open our homes to our friends & family that have travelled to see us. I have decided to tell you a few things that I do to make my visitors feel welcome. Hope you may also get some ideas.

The first most important thing I like to do is be ready for when my guests arrive rushing around when your visitors arrive will make them feel as if they are a hindrance to your families routine. On the day, get as many of the routine daily jobs done as early as possible this may include feeding pets, washing on/off line, garden watered - all the everday tasks.

Of course in the days leading up to their arrival I make sure I give the house a good clean and stock my fridge, freezer & pantry so I needn't be rushing out for any last minute items. Obviously before I go shopping I menu plan what meals we will be having during our guests stay. Now is also a good time to make any restaurant reservations if you intend to eat out.

Some of us are lucky enough to have a guest room that can easily be set up, many of us- specially the ones with children are not so fortunate. Regardless of where you decide to "put" your guests make sure the beds are comfortable. A good few years ago I bought a sofa bed for my visitors to use when they stayed. They were the in thing at the time so I thought "hey this is fabulous for me in my little house" One day I totally rearranged & spring cleaned my bedroom not getting finished that day I thought I would sleep on the sofa bed, well lets just say I have never let another guest sleep on it since. The moral of the story is sleep in your guest beds with the linen they will use and see that it is comfortable. Don't forget extra pillows and some magazines on the bedside table will probably be gratefully received.

I like to give my house guests a torch.

If your ever tried to find the loo in the middle of the night in a strange house without turning on every light (hey!! Where are the light switches anyway??) you'll understand what I am getting at!!!

When I stay at motels I never use the toiletries provided, instead try bringing them home and making up a basket for your guests to use. If your visitors have babies find out ahead what food they will need & either buy or prepare this. Disposable nappies are easier to use when you are travelling with babies however these are bulky things to pack so have a supply ready. You will need to child proof your house if you no longer have young ones. It is terribly stressful for the parents if they have to worry about their young charges damaging or breaking something. While you are doing that don't forget to remove poisons or medications that may be in reach.

Tourist information centres are not places local residents tend to visit. Try getting down to your local centre though and pick up some brochures of whats available in your local area. Most people don't even know what's in their own backyard (so to speak) Try it. We have done this and found many activities for ourselves. Lately we have found a lovely little B&B set in a nice garden setting. It has a fabulous cafe where we now sometimes go for lunch. A fantastic find.

Show early risers where they can find tea/coffee etc. the night before. Don't forget to tell them to help themselves and show them where the snacks are found. Restocking the fruit bowl with all our yummy stone fruits this time of year is lovely for everybody.

Try and be easy going during your guests stay don't panic over the house and keep meals fresh and simple. Enjoy yourself this will then flow through to everyone and lastly remember your guests have come to see you not your house of what you have.

So kick back open a good bottle of wine and give a toast to "GOOD FRIENDS"


MelMel said...

Some lovely ideas....i'm sure your guests will have wonderful time!xxxx

Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

such a good idea about sleeping in the "guest bed" to try it out ! i did it once and was so embarrassed that I had let people sleep in it and they hadnt complained at all !
needless to say its now a lovely comfortable bed to sleep in and I DO get comments saying that :-)
Lesley x

Willow said...

Your guest room certainly looks very comfy - I wish I was coming to stay! Yes, it's true about the beds you use for guests - we bought a futon once and having slept on it, I would never make anyone else suffer like that again!!!
Willow x

Unknown said...

Can i come to your house??

i am living through the first week of the holidays when weveryone is arguing stage and I want to leave home please


BevB said...

Wow Caroline, you really look after your visitors.... can I come and stay at your house?:-)

Caroline said...

Of course you can come & stay willow it may be a long way
Oh & BevB too what a lovely little union.

daisymum is a sure thing to visit she is bringing the wine, choccy cake, coffee & what was that daisymum when I was sick last week?? Chicken soup?? yes & the wine don't forget that.

What a great combination we will all be so sick!!but I bet we have some laughs

Gill - That British Woman said...

great ideas, can I come to stay!!!

Gill in Canada

Linda said...

Your loo is like mine, only mine needs a paint touch up and a curtain like that wouldn't hurt either.

Teena said... coming over too, lets all be chooks and cackle together.

Joolz said...

How very organised you are. The spare room looks inviting. You have some great ideas for being the perfect hostess with the mostest! Easy dinners and more wine, I say!

Loving your blog,

Cheers - Joolz, SA

Yogihan said...

Great post! Your guest bed is made up so well, just the way I like to make a bed too - all covers pulled nice andtaught with plump cushions. I find it hard enough to keep to my routine whilst working full-time, so I can imagine with kids around it's even harder! But the little blighters are worth it I'm sure! :)

The Vintage Rose said...

Very inviting, but I'd rather come north before summer. Great Hospitality hints, I'd just like to add remember to stock up on extra loo paper and toothbrushes - handy if someone leaves their toothbrush behind or the children have friends stay over as a last minute idea.

Tilly said...

We don't have guests very often, mainly just my parents a couple of times a year. We have a sofa bed and it has a good mattress on it so it's not too bad. Lovely hints and tips.
(And so glad to hear that your son survived such a scary accident - no wonder you have extra grey hair!)


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