Entertaining Cottage Style

Entertaining at the Cottage

We’ve managed to muddle through the doldrums of winter, and we were thrilled to finally see the flowers of spring, and now that summer is upon us, it is time for cottage season in Muskoka/Lake of Bays. Summer in cottage country is all about bright sunny days, outings on the lake, adventures around town, and warm nights under the stars, but summer at the cottage also brings with it an entire season of entertaining.

As a cottage owner, you already have your July and August weekends all planned out at the cottage –  hosting groups of guests; family, friends, friends of friends and pets. As fellow cottage country residents we have some helpful advice and tips to guide you into the upcoming season of entertaining.

Hosting the Perfect Cottage Gathering

The first thing you should remember about hosting a cottage gathering is that you need to be flexible. You can prepare with meticulous planning, you can stock up on food, alcohol, and entertainment but you can’t predict everything.

Maybe mother nature decides to bring a cold spell or a summer rain on the weekend that you are hosting your entire family at the cottage. Weather can be hard to predict in Muskoka, but if you are flexible, you will know that when it rains, you adjust your plans and pull out the board games. If it’s cold, it’s a great time for s’mores over the bonfire or cozying up in the cottage with a great book. Be sure that you are flexible enough to go with the flow–no matter what the flow is, and your guests will have a great time either way.

What Are Your Must-Haves For Hosting?

If you are hosting a group of people at the cottage, there are some must-have items that always come in handy.

As cottagers know, dusk can be a bad time for bugs to come out and make their presence known, so make sure you have bug spray to pass around. You also want to make sure that you are fully stocked with sunscreen for those sunny days at the dock. No one wants a sunburn, but sometimes it happens so an after sun lotion is also a good idea to have on hand.

It is always a good idea to make it known to your guests beforehand that if they would like to have anything special, like their favourite pillow, that they are welcome to bring it with them to make their cottage experience feel more like home.

Food is always a big part of cottage entertaining, whether it’s casual barbecuing on the deck or a fancy plated meal around the dining table, food brings us together, especially at the cottage.

In the “we must be at the lake” food department, our suggestion is of course, all of the fixings for s’mores. No matter who you are entertaining, we guarantee your guests will rejoice when you bring out that bag of fluffy marshmallows, graham crackers and mouth-watering chocolate. There is something magical in the experience of roasting a s’mores on an open fire to the perfect golden brown and savouring it as the perfect cottage delicacy. Sitting on the beach on a warm summer night with the night sky full of twinkling stars and fireflies glowing in the night makes cottage memories that will last a lifetime and warm the coldest of winter days with gentle memories of family, friends and laughter.


Summertime in Lake of Bays, Muskoka is all about easy entertaining at the cottage.  Your guests will enjoy being able to kick back and relax. Guests will be in awe of your space. The only issue with entertaining friends and family at the lake is that they will be having such a great time enjoying cottage life… they might keep extending the visit …. 🙂

©2022 Jay Richardson