It is a sign of growing up when your plans switch from meeting your friends in a bar to hosting a dinner party, and whether you are a dinner party newbie, or a dinner party veteran, you will want your evening to go without a hitch. To help you on your way, here are three ways to host the perfect dinner party with minimal stress.
While you may wish to provide food that is worthy of a Michelin star, your skills may not match the requirements. Do not be over complicated with your choice of food. Stick to a meal plan that you know that you can do well and make sure that your choices can be prepared and cooked before your guests arrive. You want to be able to socialise rather than spend an evening alone in the kitchen, and so choose food that only needs the minimum amount of attention when your guests arrive.
There is no point inviting too many people if you don’t have the capacity for them to enjoy their meal in a comfortable environment. You do not want the enjoyment of your meal to be compromised by a lack of elbow room! You also need to consider the personalities of the people you are inviting. While you may find your oldest friend is hilarious and great company, if there is someone in your party that would find their humour unfunny or even offensive (we all have friends that fit into this category), either ensure that they are sat away from each other, or don’t invite them! A seating plan is your friend – use it wisely.
The dining table
Your dining table is the centre of the evening’s entertainments, and you should treat it as a theatre stage for a performance. Set the table during the day of the dinner party, so that you can make sure that you have the right number of cutlery and glasses and have the time to go to the shops if necessary.
You need the lighting to create an intimate atmosphere but without being so dark that people can’t see what they are eating. It is worth investing in a stunning pendant light (or lights if the space requires) to illuminate the table while people are eating, Banbayu offer a fabulous collection of examples that will give the wow factor that you are after.
You want to be able to sit and enjoy the food that you have prepared, so pay attention to the condiments that may be needed for the meal. You don’t want to have to keep dashing to the kitchen to get mustard, salt or pepper.
If you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail. Your dinner party will go without a hitch if you spend time planning for it. If you can complete the lion share of preparation and cooking before the day of the dinner party, you will be able to relax and enjoy the evening.