4 Top Tips For Choosing The Perfect Wine For Your Dinner Party

4 Top Tips For Choosing The Perfect Wine For Your Dinner Party

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Image Source: Dana Robinson

Whether you are known as a bit of a wine buff or are a complete beginner to the dinner party scene, choosing the right wines for your soiree deserves some consideration. Here’re our top tips for making sure you choose the best wines for your dinner party.

  • Red or White

When hosting a dinner party, it is important to remember that the flavours of the food you serve will impact how the wine tastes, and vice versa.

Traditionally we pair white wines with fish, but there is more to consider than just the type of meat you are serving. Think about how your dish is flavoured as well. A Sauvignon Blanc pairs beautifully tart dressing and sauces whereas the heavier notes of a Pinot Grigio complement lighter dishes. For richer tasting fish dishes, like salmon or those served in a cream sauce, there really is no other choice but a nice Chardonnay.

As for the reds, a Pinot Noir will be at its best alongside earthy dishes, like vegetables or pizza. If you are not sure of how to pair a red to a dish, think logically. A heavy Italian red was literally made to accompany pasta dishes and gnocchi.

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Image Source: Ann Larie Valentine

 

  1. Weight

The problem with serving good wine to your friends is that few of them are going to notice when it is good and will happily knock it back. When the wine contrasts poorly with the meal or the setting, however, even us amateurs see that it falls short. We then tend to brand it as a ‘bad wine’ when in reality it is just poorly suited to the dish.

To avoid this, and keep your guests happy, consider the weight of the vintages you are serving when you buy your wines. Whether you choose them in person or buy them from an online liquor store, it is important to consider how the body of the wine will compare with the flavours of the food. A rich, full-bodied wine is the perfect complement to a heavy, red sauce pasta dish but would taste odd alongside a light salad or delicate herb flavours.

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Image Source: Ann Larie Valentine

  1. Courses

Don’t be afraid to serve different wines with different courses, in fact, it’s the right way to do it. The average dinner party host might be out of the habit of food pairing these days, but it is a good one to get into. It will enhance the flavours of your meal and ensure everything works perfectly together.

For a starter, which tends to be light, you want a lighter wine. Fresh, white vintages are always a good choice here and will pair beautifully with fish or delicate salads. If you are serving a pasta dish to start, stick to a Chardonnay for a creamy sauce or a Pinot Noir if the pasta is in a herby, red sauce.

For the main, we traditionally move onto a heavier red. This prevents guests drinking too much and allows them to savour the flavours. Of course, if it is a hot summer night and you are serving a lighter main, then stick to cool, refreshing white wines.

Dessert wine is a must and something that it is always best to research in advance. Muscat wines are the perfect complement to fruits whilst ports pair beautifully with rich desserts. There are also a variety of vintages that can be served as desserts in their own right, such as the German Ausele. Consider what is most likely to appeal to your guests and opt for that option, after all, the perfect wine for your dinner party is the one you and your guests will keep coming back to.

 

 

Alcoholic Beverages to Try in Mexico

Alcoholic Beverages to Try in Mexico

What would a trip to Mexico be without a few alcoholic beverages? Many areas of Mexico are popular vacation destinations and many vacationers enjoy a good drink. Different parts of the world are known for different types of specialty drinks, and Mexico is known for some of the best. If you are planning a trip to Mexico, you may want to consider trying some of the tastiest and most popular local drinks with unique flavor combinations.

Margarita

If fruity, mixed drinks are your favorite—you won’t want to miss your chance to try a real margarita. You may have had margaritas at your favorite restaurant or club, but they won’t compare to a margarita made in Mexico. Authentic margaritas aren’t made with fake flavoring and crushed ice, they are made by mixing tequila, triple sec and real lime juice. The drink is poured over ice into a margarita glass rimmed with salt. Once you have had a margarita in Mexico, you will think twice about the frozen ones you are used to back home.

Tequila

When you think about Mexico and alcoholic drinks, Tequila is probably the first thing that comes to mind. According to Del Mar Escapes, a company that provides Cabo Villa rentals, Tequila originated in Mexico so you know when you are drinking a mixed drink that contains Tequila or shooting it straight, you are getting some of the best Tequila available. Premium Tequila is easy to come by in Mexico and can be added to mixed drinks, taken in shots, or just sipped on and enjoyed slowly. Try enjoying it with a slice of lime or lemon dipped in salt.

Michelada

You may or may not have heard of a Michelada, but the drink is very popular in Mexico. It is a beer-based drink and if you really want to get a taste of Mexico, you should choose an authentic Mexican beer as the base. Lime juice and hot sauce are added to the beer and it is served over ice in a glass with a salted rim. This drink is often garnished with celery.

Paloma

Palomas are mixed drinks made with Tequila. Grapefruit flavored soda is mixed with Tequila blanco and served over ice. Some people also prefer to add lime juice to the drink or add a slice of lime in the glass. Palomas are known for going down smoothly and are perfect for people who do not necessarily like strong drinks.

Bandera Mexicana

A Bandera Mexicana is a popular shot in Mexico and one you will definitely want to try. Bandera Mexicana means Mexican flag and the shot consists of Tequila combined with lime juice, orange juice and tomato juice. The drink was named after the colors of the liquid that make up the shot because they are the same as the colors that make up the Mexican flag. In some variations, the orange juice and tomato juice are mixed together to create a sangrita, and enjoyed as a chaser with the Tequila instead of being mixed into the shot.

If you happen to be traveling through Mexico for business or pleasure, you may just want to try a few of these drinks to help you relax and unwind. These drinks can also give you an authentic taste of the Mexican culture and flavors, and maybe even inspire you to make some yourself when you return home.

This article was contributed on behalf of Del Mar Escapes, your number one choice when looking to book a stay at a Cabo San Lucas luxury resort. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!

Starting Up a Bar

Starting Up a Bar

Starting a new business is always exciting, but people should think about the legal aspects and considerations before starting a new business. Legal requirements are in place to protect your business and patrons, and there are several steps you’ll have to work through to get the business going. However, a bar business has even more legal issues that need addressing before the business can open. Let’s look at the basics for opening a bar and tackle a few legal aspects as well.

Basics for Starting a Business

Write up a comprehensive business plan serves two purposes: Chiefly, this plan clarifies your goals for the business, including planning, starting and running the business. Secondly, once you have a well-written plan, it is the perfect tool for obtaining financing for the business.

Choose an ideal business location that is convenient to customers. Consider downtown areas close to businesses to attract the after work crowds and locations near college campuses to pick up business from young adults. Make sure there is good street visibility and parking.

Starting up a new bar takes time to get established, and most new bar owners tend to under-estimate costs when first starting. Plan to get financing to cover the major costs of a new building, renovations and expenses for at least a year.

Decide on the name for the new bar. Take the time to find a creative name that reflects the interests of the patrons you will serve. Make it short, cleaver and easy to remember. Be sure to verify that the name is not already in use by another company. You’ll also have to register the business name with the state.

According to New Century Financial, a company which provides accounts receivable and factoring services, you should determine your business structure. Typical options include sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company or variety of corporation structures. Next, you must apply for a federal tax identification number from the IRS, a state business license and other permits may also be required.

Acquire business insurance. Set up a meeting with a qualified agent to discuss all your insurance needs including liability and liquor liability insurance.

Legal Considerations

The business location requires proper zoning. After finding a suitable place for the bar, you’ll need to check into zoning regulations. If the business location was previously used as a bar or nightclub, it may already have liquor zoning. However, you might have to start from scratch and request zoning for your new bar with the zoning board for the city.

You must obtain a license from the city government to sell alcoholic beverages. These are pouring licenses, and they vary significantly depending upon the variety of alcohol you wish to sell. In addition, if you want to provide any form of entertainment, you may also need to purchase entertainment licenses.

Dram shop laws cover your liability for serving patrons (adults and minors) that become intoxicated, damage property or injure another party or themselves. The majority of states have dram shop laws in place today, and they may all vary somewhat. As a bar owner, it is important that you understand the governing laws that apply to you and your business in your specific state. It is also equally important that employees receive training to spot and handle patrons that have had too much to drink.

Opening a bar requires serious considerations. Like other businesses, you are responsible for running the business, hiring employees, obtaining state and federal applications, licenses and permits. However, running a business that sells liquor means additional legal responsibilities. You’ll need to get special zoning permits and liquor liability insurance coverage in addition to dealing with dram shop laws.

This article was contributed on behalf of New Century Financial, your number one choice when looking for help with your business finances. Check out their website at www.newcenturyfinancial.com

Why You Shouldn’t Drink and Drive

Why You Shouldn’t Drink and Drive

Just about everyone has been told many times that they shouldn’t drink and drive. Even those who have never been behind the wheel of a car or had an alcoholic drink in their lives knows that it’s a bad idea, but not everyone seems to know exactly how drinking can affect their ability to drive. In some cases, people don’t know how much trouble they’re in until they try to drive home after just a couple of drinks. By then, it’s usually too late.

It’s best to know how alcohol will affect you before you decide to start drinking, especially if you’re in a situation where you may have to drive. Alcohol affects everyone a little differently with some people having a higher tolerance than others, but there are effects that are universal. All of these will affect your ability to drive, so it’s best to know about them.

Reduced Reaction Times

One of the biggest reasons why you should never drink and drive is due to the way alcohol reduces your reaction time. This can happen with as little as one drink, even if you still feel completely sober. Driving any vehicle requires a great deal of concentration, and even a slightly slowed reaction time can cause an accident.

Impaired Judgment

Not only does alcohol reduce your reaction time, but it also impairs your judgment. It’s easy to think that you haven’t had that much to drink and that you’re still sober enough to drive, but you may not be in the best position to make that call. If you’re among friends, pay attention when they tell you that you’ve had enough to drink or that you’re too drunk to drive home.

Reduced Coordination

Just as driving requires a lot of concentration, it may also call for quick reflexes. Just about anything can happen on the road, and you need to be ready for it. Alcohol can and will reduce your coordination, which could prevent you from making a split-second maneuver to avoid an accident.

Impaired Vision

According to Garza Bail Bonds, a provider of affordable Pearland Bail Bonds, alcohol doesn’t completely destroy your ability to see clearly when taken in small amounts, but it does make tracking moving objects much more difficult. You have to be able to see where you are going and know if there’s a problem on the road while you’re driving, and anything that can impair your vision will lead to problems.

Tips for Avoiding an Accident

Whenever you’re in a situation where you will have to drive, it’s safer to just avoid drinking altogether. Even a little bit of alcohol can impair your ability to drive, and you can still get charged with a DUI even if your blood-alcohol concentration is under the legal limit if the police decide that your driving is impaired.

If you must drink, make sure you know your limits. Everyone has a slightly different tolerance when it comes to alcohol, and you should have an idea of how much you can drink before you’re officially intoxicated. Stick to one alcoholic drink an hour as a rule, and drink something non-alcoholic such as water in between your alcoholic beverages. If you’re going to drive, wait at least an hour after your last drink, preferably longer. You shouldn’t be feeling the effects of alcohol at all when you finally get behind the wheel of your car.

Drinking and driving is one of the most dangerous and foolish things a person can do. If you’re someplace where alcohol is being served, either abstain from drinking or have a designated driver who stays sober for the night. There are simply too many things that can go wrong when you mix alcohol and driving, so do whatever you need to do to stay safe.

This article was contributed on behalf of Garza Bail Bonds, your number one choice when looking for bail bonds. Check out their webiste at www.garzabail.com

Promoting Your Bar on Facebook

Promoting Your Bar on Facebook

As a small business, you can’t afford to turn a blind eye to social media—particularly when it comes to sites like Facebook, which has one billion active users and growing, according to Fox Business. Getting in on social media platforms is crucial in terms of generating awareness within your local community. According to SEO Austin, a company that offers comprehensive SEO services, a bar in particular needs all the local followers it can get, and there are many ways you can promote your bar effectively on Facebook.

Create a Page

First off, you have to create a Facebook page to get started. Fortunately, bars and restaurants are fairly easy to promote because everyone loves food and drink. Just take a look at all the delicious meals and creative cocktails that people post on Facebook. Creating a buzz about the drinks and food items you sell at your bar starts with a personalized page all about you and your business. There are easy to follow steps involved in creating a business page that’s separate from your personal page. Choose a cover photos that captures the essence of your business, such as a logo, and incorporate a few short, to-the-point sentences that promote your brand.

Incorporate All the Must-Haves

If you want people to frequent your bar, you need to tell them where it is, when you’re open and what you serve. Make this information prominent so no one has to go searching for it. Include the address, phone number, website, hours, and a menu. Make your Facebook page snazzy by including photos of all your best appetizers, or videos of any special events that have gone on recently, such as karaoke night. Include surveys of your patrons’ favorite drinks, take polls and encourage people to post their own photos of their favorite time spent at your bar.

Share, Share, Share

There’s no sense in having a Facebook page if you don’t update it on a daily basis. This involves sharing content—and a lot of it. You want your updates to appear in your followers’ feeds, so post comments, share events, post photos and invite people to post answers to your questions. The goal is to remain visible to your customers so they don’t forget about you. You can achieve this through short video clips, photos, daily food and drink specials, weekly events such as ladies’ night, and postings about happy hour. Time these posts intelligently. For example, post lunch specials around 11 a.m. and happy hour specials around 3 p.m. when people are thinking about leaving work soon, advises Score. It is possible to over post on your social media channels, so make sure you know how to read your audience so you don’t get on their nerves.

Interaction

Keep an active eye on your Facebook page daily. If you can’t do this personally, hire someone who can. Got a special cocktail on tap for the holidays? Post a photo and invite people to come in and try it. Got a dart night you’re looking to gather teams for? Send out a call to action. When your followers ask a question or comment on something, answer them immediately. There is no other platform more valuable than instant interaction with your customers, so take advantage of it.

Create coupons, offer codes for 10 percent off the appetizer of the day, and look for any reason to get people to your bar. Promote it, and they will come.

This article was contributed on behalf of SEO Austin, your number one choice when looking for Internet Marketing in Austin. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!

 

Decorating Your Bar Ceiling

Decorating Your Bar Ceiling

If you want to add some flair and distinction to your bar, there are some simple treatments that will give it a unique, eye-catching appeal. You may want to first repair any issues that could prevent refurbishing the ceiling, such as removing a popcorn ceiling, if applicable. This will prepare your surface for any of the following treatments or chic suggestions.

Some cool treatments for your establishment’s ceiling include the following suggestions:

Mirrored tiles

An inexpensive but cool tile treatment is found in mirrored tile, which are typically self-adhesive so it makes dressing up a ceiling a breeze. These also give the illusion that the space is much larger than it may be, which works well in any bar. Also, you can implement either a great modern style or go with a more vintage style look, as both will work equally well in contrast to the mirrored ceiling.

Tin Ceilings

According to Wade Architectural Systems (www.wadearch.com), there are some really clever materials that mock the look of vintage tin, and that can give your bar a truly unique and special look. There is a warm aura found in tin ceilings, and your bar will instantly have a sophisticated and timeless appeal that makes the entire room look better. Try some of the simple adhesive tin-look tiles that are available in a range of sizes. Apply these easily and enjoy the charm that they bring your whole space.

Laminated photographs

You can also try laminating sheets of cool, old photos and applying them like wallpaper to the ceiling of your space. Friends and patrons will search the ceiling for a specific photo or face—and you will enjoy how captivating this accent is. This can make the room seem a bit smaller and give the illusion that the ceilings are lower than they actually are, so keep this in mind when sizing and implementing your photographs.

Recycled vinyl records

Vinyl record albums are one of those items that can build up in storage, and that you may find it difficult to part with. A great use for these records is to use them on your ceiling. These are great for insulating the existing ceiling materials, and they are easy to work with, cut, and shape to fit various spaces. These are also very easy to adhere, either with an industrial staple gun or with industrial strength glue or epoxy. For a great conversation piece in a bar, you really can’t go wrong with old records.

Unique old maps

Use old maps to wallpaper the ceiling and give it a unique twist. These are easy to work with, and also are great camouflage for any stains, leaks, or evidence of disrepair that could be present on the ceiling itself. Meld maps together with decoupage glue or cut out various maps and tape together with double-faced tape. This treatment is a great, quick way to instantly dress-up a ceiling and add an alluring accent to your bar space. This is also a great way to enhance your bar with a local theme, if you are looking to represent the city or town where you are located.

Bevy of bottle-caps

It is easy to mortar bottle caps into an intriguing mosaic design on any surface in your bar, including the ceiling! Be wary of the weight of the mortar to be sure that the ceiling doesn’t require reinforcement before applying mortar and caps. This is a great technique for any surface in your bar, from the floors, to the counters, to the ceiling.

Unique patterns

Another great way to give your space a makeover is with unexpected artistry on the ceiling. This could be something as simple as a stenciled application, or an elaborate hand-painted mural. Patrons will find themselves looking up to see your unique masterpiece!

Try these unique treatments in your bar, eatery, or even in your home, such as in a man-cave or a den. These are also a great way to be kind to the environment, since most of the suggestions involve using recycled materials and giving them a second life of utility. Give these a try and see how they transform your bar space into a chic hangout where you and your friends will want to spend time.

This article was contributed on behalf of Wade Architectural Systems, your number one choice when looking for help with your ceiling. Check out their website at www.wadearch.com

Great Foreign Bar Food to Try

Great Foreign Bar Food to Try

According to Berkel Sales and Service, a provider of commercial meat slicers, great food is often even better when accompanied by lively music, plenty of happy people and a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. This is why so many people enjoy eating in bars, especially if they can consume food prepared by talented kitchen staff. Many restaurants have bars on the premises, so diners can sample delectable dishes as they sip expertly prepared cocktails.

If you are planning a trip to another country and know you’ll want to go to at least one bar while you’re there, you may be curious about what kinds of foods may be available. In many cases, the foods that natives eat outside of bars may be served inside of them, as well. The following are several examples of some of the foods you might find in a foreign bar, along with some of the reasons that you may wish to try them.

Italy

If you are traveling to Italy, you probably expect to feast on tempting cuisine from the time you arrive until you depart. This is not an unreasonable expectation, even if you are in a bar. If you crave something sweet, you might order gelato, which is Italian ice cream. If you’re hungry for something similar to a sandwich, you may wish to try Panini, which is grilled bread filled with items such as cheese and meat. You could also try an appetizer in an Italian bar: If you have an opportunity to sample salty prosciutto (thin slices of Italian ham) wrapped around sweet melon slices, you may find yourself eating more than you intended.

Japan

Whether you’re consuming beer or sake, it’s not a bad idea to eat some food while you’re doing it. If you seek food that is battered and fried, you may like tempura, seafood and vegetables coated in a batter and then deep-fried, or Kushikatsu, meat fried in a light batter of crumbs. When you want to eat healthfully, you will probably find sushi (raw fish, rice, and seaweed) in numerous Japanese bars. If you want to feast on several snacks that will satisfy your appetite, you might order a plate of gyoza (dumplings typically filled with minced pork, seafood, or vegetables).

Australia

When you visit Australia, you can look forward to being welcomed by locals in a variety of pubs. You could have an abundance of interesting foods to consider, such as a tasty, traditional Australian cheeseburger topped with beetroot. Vegemite—a spread made from yeast extract—is a classic Australian snack, so if you see it on the menu in a bar, you should probably sample it at least once. You might also have the option of trying grilled kangaroo, which is delicious and low in fat.

Ireland

If you’re going to drink ale in an Irish pub, you’ll want some classic Irish food to go with it. When you’re in the mood for something hearty, you will have plenty of possibilities worth trying, like a traditional Irish stew made with root vegetables and mutton. If you seek a fried dish, you might indulge in fish and chips, which can be found on countless pub menus. When you’re on the coast and want fresh fish, you might feast on salmon or mackerel.

One of the best aspects of traveling is trying new kinds of cuisine. Sampling the authentic dishes of a foreign culture is generally a privilege and a pleasure, whether you’re exploring Thai green papaya salad, for something sweet, sour, and spicy, or Dutch Bitterballen, flavorful meat and flour snacks dipped in mustard. When you can pair tempting foods with delightful beverages, you are virtually guaranteed to enjoy your visit to a foreign bar.

This article was contributed on behalf of Berkel Sales and Service, your number one choice when looking for meat and bread slicers. Check out their website to find an affordable slicer from Berkel Sales and Service today! 

Red Wine and Your Teeth

Red Wine and Your Teeth

Many people enjoy a glass of red wine or two on occasion, whether you have a glass of this beverage nightly with dinner or socially at cocktail parties. Red wine may taste delicious but it can be murder on your pearly whites. Staining remains a top concern for those who drink lots of dark wines, just like frequent coffee drinkers may experience. However, there are some benefits to this beverage that you may never have thought of.

Red Wine to Prevent Cavities?

A recent study profiled by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that red wine can suppress the growth of bacteria that can lead to caries—more commonly known as cavities. However, the American Dental Association says you would have to swish with red wine in your mouth every day for several minutes over a period of a week to gain those benefits, pursuant to the parameters of the study in question. A better way to prevent cavities, the ADA says, is to use an antiseptic mouth rinse, brush twice a day, floss every day, maintain a healthy diet by limiting sugary snacks and going to the dentist every six months.

Staining

Staining is perhaps the greatest complaint when it comes to the pairing of red wine and white teeth. If you’re not willing to give up your wine drinking days just yet, check out these tips from Fox News. In between glasses of red, swirl some seltzer or white wine in your mouth to reduce staining. Brush your teeth before eating a meal, as red wine tends to stick to plaque buildup. Apply petroleum-based lip-gloss before drinking, as this can add a barrier between your teeth and the wine. Indulge in some hard cheese. Why? Some cheeses coat the teeth with calcium so you don’t have to worry as much about discoloration. Refrain from brushing your teeth after drinking, as the acidity in the wine leaves the enamel of your teeth vulnerable to abrasive attacks.

Teeth Rot

It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but your red wine habit can lead to the rotting of your teeth over time. Wine can erode the enamel of your teeth, as it’s very acidic in nature and can lead to decreased mineral levels, according to Livestrong. Actually, white wine was found to have even more teeth rotting effects, due to the high acidity in wines like Riesling.

What You Can Do

According to Cashion Dental, (click here) in addition to limiting your consumption of red wine, especially if you have porous teeth that stain easily, you can take some actions to reduce your chances of staining overall. Refrain from drinking sodas and eating too many acidic foods such as lemons, as these can wear away the enamel of your teeth as well as cause staining. Keep up with proper dental hygiene, which is great not just for staining but also for avoiding cavities, gingivitis and plaque. You can use over the counter teeth whitening kits for light staining, but if you have a pretty severe red or purple tinge to your teeth, you’re best off having this done professionally at the dentist. Not everyone is a good candidate for teeth whitening, though, so be sure to consult with your dentist.

Ban red wine stains from your teeth by employing the above tips. You don’t have to give up red wine to look good!

This article was contributed on behalf of Cashion Dental, your number one choice when looking for dental services. Click here and see how they can help you! 

How To Host A Fantastic Dinner Party

How To Host A Fantastic Dinner Party

What’s more fun than inviting all your closest friends to your home for delicious food, drinks and delightful conversation? Inviting your friends over for a dinner party can be a lot of fun but perhaps also a little stressful.

If you are yearning to host your very own dinner party but are concerned about how much stress it will cause, don’t be put off. Hosting a dinner party can be simple and uncomplicated as long as you start planning it well in advance.

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To help you plan a fantastic, fuss-free dinner party we have put together some tips below:

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Invite a friendly group

Have a think about who you want to invite. Try to make sure that you pick friends that know each other, get on well and have a few things in common. One of the worst things that can happen at a dinner party is inviting guests that clash with one another or simply have nothing in common.

You don’t want your guests to feel uncomfortable, so only invite people who you know will get along.

Find out about allergies

You don’t want to find out that a guest is severely allergic to gluten just as you are serving the meal, so it is always best to check in advance. Whilst most people will let you know about any allergies or food aversions they have, it is always a good idea to double check.

Choose your dishes carefully

When you are thinking about which dishes to serve there are a few important factors to consider. It is essential that you think about your budget when you are deciding on what you want to cook, as well as any allergies or dislikes of your guests.

Start by choosing how many courses you want to serve – don’t overdo it, a three-course meal is more than enough for most people. Consider whether you will offer your guests different options for each course – perhaps you could make a vegetarian option as well as a regular one.

Whilst planning make sure to take your stress into consideration. Can you cope with making two starter choices and two main courses too? If you need to make a few different dishes, you could always prepare them a few days before and then freeze or refrigerate them until the night of your party.

When choosing what dishes to serve, don’t be tempted to try a new complicated recipe that you have never made before. Make sure to pick dishes that you have created at least once or twice before.

Avoid choosing foods that have to be cooked to order, such as steaks. Simple meals are often the best choices.

Choose what drinks to serve

Have a think about what kind of drinks you will be serving. Are you planning on giving guests a glass of bubbly on arrival? Consider what type of wine will go best with your dishes and go from there.

Whilst red wine tends to go better with red meats like beef; white wine goes well with dishes containing in poultry and fish. Think about what food you are serving.

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Consider what types of drinks you will be serving after the main meal. Are you planning on offering your guests liqueur coffees or cocktails? Choose what you want to serve and make a list of everything you will need. If you are planning on serving extremely strong alcoholic drinks, make sure your guests have a large enough meal to soak up the alcohol. The last thing you want is someone getting overly tipsy.

Whilst you will want to have a nice range of alcoholic beverages in stock, make sure to also have some soft drinks available for guests who are driving.

To reduce your stress, why not create a make-it-yourself drinks bar. Place all the drinks on there and invite guests to help themselves.

Make a list beforehand

Ensure you have everything you need beforehand by making a list. Spend the weekend before the party preparing for it. Check that you have enough plates, wine glasses and cutlery for all your guests. Anything that you don’t have put on the list, you can either buy or borrow extra crockery and glasses, depending on your budget.

Go through each recipe and make a list of all the ingredients you need. Check the cupboards and add anything you don’t have on to your list. Make sure to change the quantities of ingredients for the amount of guest you have attending. For instance, if your beef bourguignon recipe serves six and you have 12 guest attending, make sure to double up on ingredients.

Make a list of all the drinks you will need to buy – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. If you are hosting your dinner party on a tight budget, you could always ask each guest to bring a bottle along.

Think about entertainment

Are you planning on having any entertainment for your guests? Think about what your guests will be doing whilst you are busy in the kitchen.

Place fun adult-friendly board games around the room as well as various packs of cards, this will keep your guests occupied whilst you are in the kitchen.

Clean as you go

Don’t let your kitchen end up in a mess, this will only stress you out. Make sure to bin wrappers, wash pots and pans and wipe the surfaces as you go. At least then you won’t have a massive pile of washing up to do at the end of the night.

If you have a dishwasher make sure to empty it before your guests arrive. Throughout the night place dirty dishes, crockery and pots and pans into it and then once full, pop it on. By the end of the evening, all your dirty dishes will be clean and ready to use again.

Remember to have fun

Don’t get stressed out. Stay calm and have a nice time. Between serving food and preparing cocktails, it can be easy to forget that you are meant to be enjoying time with your friends.

If you struggle to keep on top of everything, you could always enlist one or two of the guests to help you out. As long as everyone has a good time, it’s unlikely they will mind.

What You Should Know about the London Underground

What You Should Know about the London Underground

According to statistics put forth by Wikipedia, the North Acton Tube Station witnessed a phenomenal 5.47 million entries and exits in 2013! And, if the trends are to be kept in perspective, the number has only headed northwards in 2014. This popularity can be attributed to the convenience of commuting the Underground rail system provides to locals and tourists alike. There is a huge residential complex right opposite to the station and some of the best budget hotels in Acton are located right beside it. Once you opt for one of these hotels close to the North Acton tube terminal, you can utilize the underground transport system for accessing the whole of London. However, if you are new to the city and haven’t been to a tube terminal here before, the initial experience could be baffling no less. Here are some tips that can help.

Making the best of the Underground

Provided you have chosen one of the best cheap hotels in Acton like Holiday Inn London West, which is situated right beside the North Acton Terminal, the trouble of looking for the nearest station can be done away with. And once you reach a tube station for the first time, here are some guidelines that would help:

  • Visit the Information Office: Once you step inside the station, you will find a visitor information office. Just drop in and ask for a free tube map. Remember, this vast transport network comprises of eleven lines that have different colour coding. And finding your way without a map may seem extremely confusing. However, the confusion is likely to fade away with familiarity, as you become a regular traveler. The entire network is divided into zones with the central line being Zone 1.
  • The Tube does NOT ply 24 Hours a Day: The trains operate from 5:00 am till about 00:30 at night on weekdays and from 7:30 am to 22:30 in the night on Saturdays. Luckily, most major attractions would be within walking distance of a tube terminal. Peak hours see a whole lot of rush. So, as a tourist, the best thing to do is take the train after 9:30 am from Monday to Friday. It is also important to keep in mind that the transport system is an old one and it requires periodic maintenance every weekend. These engineering works attribute to partial or complete closures of certain sections.
  • Drinking and Smoking NOT Allowed: Drinking and smoking is banned on the tube and this makes it a pleasant experience for travelers. In fact, smoking is prohibited in extended public areas like platforms and bus stations as well. So make sure you keep your cigarettes at home.
  • Always stand on the Right: Although there isn’t a written rule here, you need to always stand on the right in a London escalator. Locals here do not appreciate deviations from the common norm and it is always better to stick to the unspoken laws and avoid disruptions.

You can also seek information from the travel desk at the cheap hotel in Acton you have checked in into. Most of these hotels close to the North Acton tube are manned by extremely friendly staff members, who are always ready to lend a helping hand.