I recently had a fantastic dinner party with my friends and family. The reason I think it was so good was that I was able to take part in the majority of the fun, eating and drinking, not being stranded as hosts usually are, in the kitchen. Below I am going to share some of my top dinner party tips, so hopefully, you can replicate them and have a fantastic evening too.
A stylish dinner party doesn’t have to be all about trying to outdo another host or spending five days learning how to create the perfect swan from a napkin. It’s about time, and how much of it you can devote to your guests. That is the true key to the whole event. If you don’t spend enough time with the people, you invite you may as well have not invited them in the first place.
Chose a theme for your party. If the majority of your friends work in the city during the week, give them a break by doing something a little more fun like a fancy dress party. I chose an Oscars-themed event where the boys came in suits, and the girls wore dresses. It set the tone for the evening. This allowed me to choose the correct ones for the table and dining room, as well as the music – I chose some classic movie soundtracks from iTunes. If you don’t want to be bothered with venue dressing, you can get companies to help you do it.
If you want to have a stylish evening and you are feeling creative why not make some handmade invitation letters, they are fairly simple. However, if creativity is not really up your street, you can buy some ornate and fancy ones from places such as Etsy. Another great tip is to ask if anyone has any dietary requirements on the invite. This way you won’t find out mid-way through your starter that one of your friends can’t have milk. Buy lots of candles or tealights, they are much more stylish than standard lighting and make the evening seem more intimate.
Now you know how many guests to expect and what foods they will/won’t eat it’s time to decide on the food. My best advice is to select things that you had made before and made well. Many of my friends have tried to accomplish something crazy they saw on a cookery show, only for it to go wrong, and end up ordering a takeaway. Chose something that you know how to make well, and if possible pick something you can prepare/make the previous day to maximize your time with your guests.
Drinks are a tough one to get right. I usually let the theme dictate it somewhat. For our Oscars evening, it was all champagne. On one of my other evenings, punch was more fitting. If in doubt though, let your guests bring a bottle, at least they will have something to drink that they definitely like.