Hosting a dinner party combines many aspects and requires various skills.  You need to dress your table,   make the settings, decide on a dinner party menu of what to eat and drink. Then you have to go shopping.  You want the dinner party to be smooth and flawless.  It is a social occasion and therefore people are coming to enjoy themselves.  Therefore do not over complicate it.  Pick a menu that is simple, tasty and can be prepared ahead of the evening.  There are plenty of dinner party & easy entertaining recipes that will fulfill this for you.


Today we want to concentrate on what to cook for a dinner party.

Easy Entertaining recipes
Dinner Party Food Ideas

The planning

And as the old adage goes, fail to plan then plan to fail.  Planning the food for a dinner party menu is so important.  It can make or break your evening very easily.  Ahead of time consider a few dinner party food ideas.  Think simple, tasty and easy to prepare. There are plenty of easy entertaining recipes to choose from.  Before you start planning though, make sure you understand if your guests have any dietary requirements.  There is nothing more embarrassing than a Vegan turning up on the night when every course contains animal products.  Make sure there are also no allergies.  Even if there is a dietary requirement, as long as you know ahead of time you can ensure that can be catered for.

It is important you write your dinner party menu down.  This should include your canapés and your wine choices.  Review it and check it flows and fits together.  Look for make ahead dinner party main course recipes.  Once you are happy be realistic about how simple it is.  For example, if you are not a natural chef then do not make it stressful by preparing a gastronomic spectacular.  Do not try to do a soufflé if you have never done before.  It will not rise for you and it will stress you.  Some of the most delicious menus are perfect easy entertaining recipes and easy to cook and trust me they will wow your guests.  And remember as well as coming for dinner, your guests want to see you they do not want you stuck in the kitchen all night!

The Food

Food is the key element in dinner parties. For a dinner party to be successful, you have to make sure that you have impressed your guests with the food. There is a wide range of dinner party food ideas and dinner party recipes to choose dinner party menu from. You can either choose to make the food ahead or on the party day. It is advisable to cook food depending on the expected guests. For example, you can estimate that each person will drink three glasses of wine, meaning you have to budget for a half bottle per person. Below are some dinner party food ideas and easy entertaining recipes.

Dinner Party Canapés

 Canapés provide the wow factor at the start of the evening.  Like other things in life first impressions count and this is no different with canapés.

 For a dinner party you do not want to over-face your guests with too many large canapés.  Otherwise you are in danger of overindulging them before you show them to the dinner table.  Ideally 4 to 5 small delicate canapés over the space of an hour will be sufficient.  It is just a little bite with a wow factor and a taste of what is to come.  Look for easy entertaining recipes. We recommend a combination of cold and warm canapés in the winter.  In the summer you may want to choose all cold.  Some cold canapés can be prepared in advance which will help on the day.  The art of producing stress free canapés is preparing as many of the ingredients in advance and having them laid out in small bowls and therefore making it quick and efficient in assembling them just before your guests arrive.

Easy entertaining recipes

Take a look at some of our canapé ideas that we serve at our dinner parties. Remember the best combination is simple and tasty.  Some of our favourites are the pigs in blanket in a honey and mustard glaze,  Chilli Shrimp and Mini shepherd’s pie.

Dinner Party Starter

So once you have made your guests comfortable at the dining room table, it is time for the starter.  Soup is a great starter to prepare in advance.  A great winter warmer is a saffron and mussel soup with home made sour dough bread.  Pair this with a light white wine such as Italian Gavi.

Palate Cleanser

Following on from the starter you may want to consider a light palate cleanser.  For example, a fruity sorbet.    A palate cleanse is good to serve before moving onto the main course.   It really helps to reset your palate for the next delicious course.  It ensures you then can get the maximum flavour from the next part of the meal.

Dinner Party Menu

Dinner party Main Course

Pork belly with apple puree, fondant potatoes and a braised red cabbage.  This is a great make ahead dinner party main course recipes.   A fantastic sweet flavoured main course that can be prepared in advance and is full of flavour.   The sweet flavours in this dish should be paired with a pinot noir or a Spanish Garnacha.  If you wanted a French wine then you may wish to consider a red or even a white burgundy.

Dinner Party Dessert

Before dessert, have a break and enjoy some time digesting the main course and chatting with your guests.   When you host a dinner party at home it should not be rushed.  It should not be a stressful experience for you and the guests should feel that time has been taken between courses to appreciate the food and the wine they have been served.

We recommend a traditional and mouth watering dessert such as a chocolate bread and butter pudding.  This is one of the classic dinner party recipes. Again this is something you can prepare well ahead of time and place in the oven once the main course has been completed.  Consider a sweet white dessert wine to accompany this course.

Dinner Party Recipes
Dinner Party Recipes

And finally .....

No good dinner party is complete without a board of scrumptious cheeses and biscuits.  The world is your oyster when it comes to preparing this and you can go all out.  If you can go to a specialist cheese shop we would recommend this and you will be spoilt for choice.  A good cheese monger will advise you on some great choices.  However if you do not have close access to a specialist cheese monger then we recommend an equal combination of soft and hard cheeses.  A brie and roquefort are always a welcome flavour to the end of a delicious dinner party.

Cooking for a dinner party need not be difficult and as long as you are organised and prepare ahead it need not be stressful either.  You are not just out to impress your guests , it is about enjoying quality time with them which means not spending hours in the kitchen whilst they are there.

Dinner parties are the main part of our business and we love them.  If you want any advice on what to cook then just drop us a line or give us a call.  We are more than happy to help.