Hosting a dinner party
There are many reasons why you would choose to host a dinner party. It could be pleasure, it could be business. For instance, it may be a large or it may be small and intimate. Whatever the reason, many people find hosting a dinner party very stressful. Consequently they forget to enjoy themselves in the pursuit of dinner party perfection! Below are a few of our failsafe tips for hosting a dinner party. Finally also on how to make it stress free and effortless.
Invite your guests
I always say invite your guests about 4 weeks in advance. Make sure you find out if any of them have any allergies to certain foods. In addition also check if they are vegetarian etc and that way you can build this into your menu planning. Most importantly think about who you are inviting. Make sure you don’t invite people you know who do not get on with each other. Awkwardness at an intimate dinner party can be extremely stressful. This should be about how to host a fun dinner party not difficult guests!
The key to hosting a good dinner party – plan your menu
No doubt you will want to present a menu that will wow your guests. The absolutely key to the success of this is to ensure you have planned your menu well in advance of the dinner party.
- Keep it simple – a wow menu does not have to be complicated. Above all make sure you do not pick a dish you have never cooked before. This is one sure way to raise the stress levels. If you want to do something you have not done before then make sure you practice. Make it for your family one evening before the dinner party
- If you are serving canapés, make sure the ones you choose can be prepared in advance
- Pick a dessert that can be prepared the night before. Then either just chilled or thrown in the oven 15 minutes before you are due to serve it.
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
This is one of the most important points to keeping the dinner party day stress free. If you are not careful what were quick dinner party ideas cam soon get out of hand. You can cook everything ahead of time. Make sure you wash all the pans and preparation utensils as you go along. Most importantly you do not want a mountain of dishes next to the sink.
Ensure you have all cutlery, crockery and wine glasses you need for the night. Above all check they all match. If you don’t have enough matching ones then you can either rent matching sets quite inexpensively. However if you are planning on more dinner parties you may want to invest in a matching set of everything you need.
On the other hand be a little bit eclectic and have everything mismatching. Then it looks like you have done it that way on purpose!
Set the ambiance
Decorate your dining room. This is the fun part of the planning. If you want to you can go all out and let your creative imagination set loose on your table. Your quick dinner party ideas soon turn into a creative extravaganza.
Creating a magnificent centerpiece can really give you the wow factor. I love the one we have used below – keeping it simple but large made a real difference. We incorporated wood from the local forest and hung some tea light candles. When the lights are dimmed this creates a really magical effect. With this use white linen and maybe add some gold or silver candles or decorative pieces toad a splash effect.
Music can make a huge difference to the ambiance of the party. Therefore with an Amazon music subscription you can create whatever atmosphere you want with a playlist. From an Ibiza rave to a selection of popular classical music. Just ask Alexa to play whatever one you want,
Organizing the kitchen is important if hosting a dinner party
I always recommend ‘sorting the kitchen out’ in advance of dinner party day. An organised kitchen is the basis of how to host a fun dinner party. If you wake up to a clean and organised kitchen on the day of your dinner party. Then you are setting yourself up for an organised and stress free day.
- Make sure you have cleaned your fridge out and have all the ingredients organised and in order
- Have an empty dishwasher so that you can put items in there as you clear the table throughout the party
- Make sure you have cleared your workspace so there is plenty of room to lay plates out
- Make sure all your kitchen bins have been emptied. There is nothing worse than finding you have a full bin when you are clearing plates
Create a timeline. I am the Queen of post it notes when it comes to creating a timeline. Write yourself a post it note out for each stage of the preparation. To get you started:
⦁7.00pm Take canapés out of oven and place on pre-prepared serving board
⦁6.45pm Place canapés into oven
⦁6.35pm Put oven on at 180c
This really is one of my failsafe ways of ensuring I do not forget anything and miss out a crucial stage in the preparation that can throw everything into disarray!
This is going to be dependent on the guests you have invited and how well they know each other as you do not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Play a card game or do a quiz with a prize at the end
And finally – please enjoy yourself!
Remember this is about how to host a fun dinner party. You are hopefully doing this for pleasure so you can enjoy yourself with your family and friends. Even if the purpose is business – you still want to enjoy and have a fun time! If you follow our advice above there is no reason as to why you cannot have a fabulous dinner party. Ultimately your guests will be talking about for a long time to come!