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It’s been at least two months since we’ve hosted anyone in our homes, and our most recent celebrations – Easter, Mother’s Day and the many long weekends – have been quiet affairs. Has anyone else forgotten how to entertain? 

Stage 1 of Queensland’s roadmap out of the coronavirus crisis lets you host gatherings of up to five visitors in your home, from Friday May 15. And while we certainly won’t be pushing the limits (don’t be #thatperson) the prospect of some restriction-compliant socialisation is certainly appealing – but, where should we even start?

Spruce up your outdoor area
Backyard or patio looking a little forlorn after two months without use? With a few simple upgrades, it will be easy to keep your guests comfortable and socially distant outside – meaning they won’t need to venture into your home. Avoid benches or couches in favour of bean bags or other forms of comfy individual seating to help your guests stay 1.5m apart, and consider some functional heating like an outdoor fire pit (just make sure to check for any local fire bans before lighting it up). Rugs, throws and weather-proof cushions will also make your space feel cosy.

  1. Life outdoor bean bag in slate, $49.95, www.ezibuy.com 
  2. Collective Sol rust footed fire pit, $249, www.templeandwebster.com.au 
  3. AURugs light brown outdoor modern rug, $218, www.aurugs.com 

What to eat?
As much as you love them, you’re probably going to want to keep your guests outside as much as possible. So, it makes sense to cook outside as much as you can! These three recipes are perfect for outdoor entertaining, because you can prep them ahead of time and do the cooking on your fire pit or barbecue while your guests enjoy their drinks (more on that in a moment).

BBQ chicken kebabs, with a smoky, sweet, spicy glaze // Make them here.

Rocket salad, with pear and goat’s cheese // Make it here.

Smoked potatoes, with herbs and your choice of toppings // Make them here.

What to drink?
Nothing takes a gathering up a notch like a signature cocktail, and making your very own ‘quarantini’ doesn’t have to be hard work. In fact, with the right choice of ingredients, you can make up a celebratory punch or a winter warmer without breaking the bank – and your guests will seriously love it.

Winter sangria, with berries, apple and pomegranate // Make it here.

Vanilla whiskey mule, with ginger ale and fresh lemon juice // Make it here.

Red wine, berry and ginger cocktail, made using cask wine // Make it here.

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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.