There can be few more enjoyable things in life than inviting friends and family to your home and keeping them entertained with good food at a dinner party. However, while hosting people for dinner is undoubtedly enjoyable, many people also find it equally scary and daunting.
Whether you’re holding your first dinner party or consider yourself a skilled host, below are some tips that will help you make the best of your dinner parties.
Planning Is Key, So Make Arrangements in Good Time
As with most areas of life, good planning will help things go smoothly, and will also let you relax more. Ideally, you should start around two weeks before your event by considering the following:
- Deciding who you are going to invite then sending out invitations to give attendees plenty of warning.
- Based on the above, work out how much food you’re likely to need, and decide on the dishes you think will work best. Alternatively, for the most hassle-free dinner possible, you could look at hiring help for your evening and having them look after the event for you. For example, it’s possible to Hire a private chef in London that will come to your home and cook the entire menu for you.
- Decide what kind of ambience you want to create for the meal and think about decorating your home and dining room appropriately.
In the Days Running Up to Your Dinner Party
Once the initial planning is out of the way, it’s time to start tying down specific requirements. This will be considerably easier now you know how many guests you can anticipate attending. In no particular order, you should work out the following considerations:
- By now you should have a very clear idea of who’s coming. If not, you should chase up invitations
- Check with guests about specific dietary requirements. You don’t need to reveal what you intend to serve, but you should be aware if any of your planned menu is going to cause guests problems.
- Based on the information above, you’ll be able to nail down your menu in full. Try to plan with seasonal fruit or veg that you’ll be able to prepare quickly.
- Think about how you’re going to lay your table and ensure you have sufficient cutlery or any other specific tools you might need (for example, for the preparation or serving of food). You should also check additional items, like candles, you might feature on the table.
- Think about seating and how you’re going to arrange your guests. Most skilled party hosts suggest it’s better to separate couples and seat them next to someone other than their partner as it usually leads to better conversation.
The Final Touches
You’ll need to make sure you’ve picked up the required ingredients for your menu, and suitable drinks for your guests (also make sure you have a corkscrew). You should also make sure you have ice and, depending on the type of mood you want to create, make some music playlists.
The day before your party, you should try to prepare as much of the meal as possible to save delays and not keep your guests waiting. This will also allow you to enjoy more of the meal and spend more time at the table, rather than in the kitchen.