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Hospitality

January 15, 2019

Thoughts on Hospitality

One of the biggest things that stands out to me about our trip to Raleigh in November is the way I learned about hospitality, creating a home, and welcoming others from my friend Stephanie. She and her husband Rob generously hosted Dillon and I for the entire week in their beautiful home. Stephanie and I have cultivated a precious friendship online over the past year through our shared love of celebrations, loving others well, and using our gifts to glorify God. While I already knew she had an incredible gift for living intentionally and infusing joy into each day, I got to experience it firsthand during our stay with them.

Tablescape and Photo by Stephanie Shaul

Ever since we returned to New Hampshire, I have thought back upon the examples of hospitality I learned from the Shauls. We had been there for no more than five minutes and Stephanie had already offered us drinks, Rob had helped Dillon carry in our bags, and the kitchen smelled incredible from the meal they’d prepared for us. We continued to be completely blessed for our entire stay in so many ways, a handful of which I’m going to share with you for practicing hospitality when hosting loved ones in your own home, too! Since I picked up so many different ideas, today I will share tips specific for hosting guests for a meal.

Welcome guests with a small, yet thoughtful, refreshment when they arrive, such as a simple charcuterie board or chips and salsa. This is especially helpful if they’ve had a long drive to your home – they may have worked up quite an appetite on the road!

Set a beautiful table for the meal by using your favorite plates, glasses, and cloth napkins (if you have them). Light taper candles or votives if you’d like. These elements immediately elevate the feel of a table and create a warm, welcoming, and special environment. The key here is to use what you have- this need not be over-the-top!

Offer a special beverage or two. The Shauls had a beautiful bar cart to fix countless drinks, but they also had a simple bottle of quality wine and warm spiced cider, too. If you prefer to serve a non-alcoholic option, try lemonade, fruit water, or cider instead.

Surprise guests with a warm dessert after the meal. Stephanie’s execution of this surprise could not have been more suitable or timely for our welcome dinner. I had long heard about the wonders of chess pie and was eager to try it during our stay. As we began to talk through the special dinner we’d booked at the Angus Barn (which is notorious for its chocolate chess pie), Stephanie excused herself from the table for a moment and came back with a warm, freshly-baked chocolate chess pie and whipped cream. I was amazed and delighted – it’s one of the best desserts I’ve ever had and was the perfect ending to the meal!

For heaps of joyful celebration, check out Stephanie’s beautiful blog and Instagram!

  1. Stephanie Shaul

    January 15th, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    This is the sweetest blog post, and I’m so touched! We absolutely, positively LOVED having you two stay with us, and it was the best week. Our dinners and game nights and chats on the couch are some of my favorite memories! And could that Angus Barn chess pie surprise have been timed any better?! I couldn’t have planned it like that myself! Love you, friend!!

  2. Rhiannon

    February 5th, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Steph sure sounds like the most incredible hostess! And I am not surprised in the slightest bit. I’m so happy you both have forged such a special relationship together!

  3. Kyla

    February 6th, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you Rhi! I’m so grateful for her friendship and for the incredible community that can come through blogging and social media! 🙂

  4. Catherine Wormell

    January 16th, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    This is awesome! Reminds me of the book The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World by Rosaria Butterfield, I am sure you would love!!

  5. Kyla

    January 17th, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    I love this! Thank you for the suggestion! 🙂

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