A well-hosted dinner party looks effortless. And yet, beneath its serene waters, the host is paddling furiously and has been for days!
Stress no more with these great tips for hosting a dinner party.
·Consider the guest list carefully – the overall success of a dinner party depends largely on who you have gathered around your bespoke and beautiful reclaimed wood dining table. If people don’t know each other, consider what they have in common before sitting them around the farmhouse dining table. Without pre-planning the guest list, you could find the source of stress is complete lack of conversation between guests.
·Decide the menu in good time – and stick with what you know. If you are experimenting with a dish, cook it at least twice before the dinner party to get the taste and seasoning right, as well as the presentation. It is also wise to ask about allergies and intolerances.
·Prep food in advance – starting with the hard stuff first! Stress-free dinner party hosts will make a range of desserts, for example, a day ahead of the dinner party so that the final course is effortless, leaving the host to concentrate on the main meal, the lynchpin of a fabulous dinner party.
·Set the table in advance – and not at the last minute! Finding out 20 minutes before your guests arrive you don’t have enough soup spoons or dessert forks is sure to send you into a spin.
TOP TIP – The dining room
They say that atmosphere is people, and ambience the setting. Thus, spending time creating a stunning dining table setting is not wasted.
But it isn’t just the dining table;
·Theme - whichever theme you have decided to opt for, continue elements of this on the dining room sideboard cabinet and the display unit too. For example, a large floral centrepiece could have echoes of smaller, flower posies in vases on the sideboard and mantelpiece.
·The hardware – the dining table will have the dinner service and other accessories to glamourize it but make sure you afford the fabric dining chairs the same treatment. Wipe over with a damp cloth and use a soft bristled brush to sweep the weft in the same direction. If you have invested in the upholstered dining bench with your table, make sure this stunner is stunning!
The party starts with you, thus you need to be;
·The host with the most - and that means having snippets of information about guests stored ready for you as you introduce people. With your prepping and planning done, there is nothing more to be done than relaxing with your guests.
·Background details – such as soft, flowing music is a must and takes away the awkward background silence that can linger heavily on the guests. So way before the evening starts, spend time on Spotify and the like, creating a dinner party music list that lasts a long time.
·Be a great host but not too serious – dinner parties are not meant to be stuffy affairs but a chance to get to know different people, enjoy company and great food too.
Share your dinner party stories with us – the good and the bad!