What’s more fun than inviting all your closest friends to your home for delicious food, drinks and delightful conversation? Inviting your friends over for a dinner party can be a lot of fun but perhaps also a little stressful.
If you are yearning to host your very own dinner party but are concerned about how much stress it will cause, don’t be put off. Hosting a dinner party can be simple and uncomplicated as long as you start planning it well in advance.
To help you plan a fantastic, fuss-free dinner party we have put together some tips below:
Have a think about who you want to invite. Try to make sure that you pick friends that know each other, get on well and have a few things in common. One of the worst things that can happen at a dinner party is inviting guests that clash with one another or simply have nothing in common.
You don’t want your guests to feel uncomfortable, so only invite people who you know will get along.
Find out about allergies
You don’t want to find out that a guest is severely allergic to gluten just as you are serving the meal, so it is always best to check in advance. Whilst most people will let you know about any allergies or food aversions they have, it is always a good idea to double check.
Choose your dishes carefully
When you are thinking about which dishes to serve there are a few important factors to consider. It is essential that you think about your budget when you are deciding on what you want to cook, as well as any allergies or dislikes of your guests.
Start by choosing how many courses you want to serve – don’t overdo it, a three-course meal is more than enough for most people. Consider whether you will offer your guests different options for each course – perhaps you could make a vegetarian option as well as a regular one.
Whilst planning make sure to take your stress into consideration. Can you cope with making two starter choices and two main courses too? If you need to make a few different dishes, you could always prepare them a few days before and then freeze or refrigerate them until the night of your party.
When choosing what dishes to serve, don’t be tempted to try a new complicated recipe that you have never made before. Make sure to pick dishes that you have created at least once or twice before.
Avoid choosing foods that have to be cooked to order, such as steaks. Simple meals are often the best choices.
Choose what drinks to serve
Have a think about what kind of drinks you will be serving. Are you planning on giving guests a glass of bubbly on arrival? Consider what type of wine will go best with your dishes and go from there.
Whilst red wine tends to go better with red meats like beef; white wine goes well with dishes containing in poultry and fish. Think about what food you are serving.
Consider what types of drinks you will be serving after the main meal. Are you planning on offering your guests liqueur coffees or cocktails? Choose what you want to serve and make a list of everything you will need. If you are planning on serving extremely strong alcoholic drinks, make sure your guests have a large enough meal to soak up the alcohol. The last thing you want is someone getting overly tipsy.
Whilst you will want to have a nice range of alcoholic beverages in stock, make sure to also have some soft drinks available for guests who are driving.
To reduce your stress, why not create a make-it-yourself drinks bar. Place all the drinks on there and invite guests to help themselves.
Make a list beforehand
Ensure you have everything you need beforehand by making a list. Spend the weekend before the party preparing for it. Check that you have enough plates, wine glasses and cutlery for all your guests. Anything that you don’t have put on the list, you can either buy or borrow extra crockery and glasses, depending on your budget.
Go through each recipe and make a list of all the ingredients you need. Check the cupboards and add anything you don’t have on to your list. Make sure to change the quantities of ingredients for the amount of guest you have attending. For instance, if your beef bourguignon recipe serves six and you have 12 guest attending, make sure to double up on ingredients.
Make a list of all the drinks you will need to buy – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. If you are hosting your dinner party on a tight budget, you could always ask each guest to bring a bottle along.
Think about entertainment
Are you planning on having any entertainment for your guests? Think about what your guests will be doing whilst you are busy in the kitchen.
Place fun adult-friendly board games around the room as well as various packs of cards, this will keep your guests occupied whilst you are in the kitchen.
Clean as you go
Don’t let your kitchen end up in a mess, this will only stress you out. Make sure to bin wrappers, wash pots and pans and wipe the surfaces as you go. At least then you won’t have a massive pile of washing up to do at the end of the night.
If you have a dishwasher make sure to empty it before your guests arrive. Throughout the night place dirty dishes, crockery and pots and pans into it and then once full, pop it on. By the end of the evening, all your dirty dishes will be clean and ready to use again.
Remember to have fun
Don’t get stressed out. Stay calm and have a nice time. Between serving food and preparing cocktails, it can be easy to forget that you are meant to be enjoying time with your friends.
If you struggle to keep on top of everything, you could always enlist one or two of the guests to help you out. As long as everyone has a good time, it’s unlikely they will mind.