There’s nothing better than a good dinner party. There’s delicious food, good wine, and sparkling conversation. You find yourself chatting and laughing well into the small hours. It’s the nights where you lose track of time, and your jaw hurts from giggling. These are the types of dinner parties you want to be remembered for! The only tricky part is putting it all together. How do you possibly get started? Well, we’ve thrown a dinner party or two in our lifetime, and we’ll share a few secrets with you today.
The guestlist – The people you invite is the single most important part of the evening. With the right guests, nothing else matters. You could serve the worst food and make all sorts of mistakes, but it won’t matter. Try to choose a guestlist of people that are likely to get along. Pair couples together with others who will spark, and avoid potential clashes! If you’re throwing a dinner party for your existing group of friends, this part should be easy.
Plan the food in advance – Now comes the tricky part. Getting the food right is a real challenge, especially if you’re attempting a three-course meal. It’s often a good idea to cook as much of the meal as possible before people arrive. Choose a meal that can simply be reheated quickly and still taste great. A simple curry or chilli is great for this. That way, you’ll be free to greet guests and show off your hosting skills. It’s also a good idea to avoid acquired tastes or experimental foods!
Drinks – You can liven up just about any dinner party by pouring the drinks. Try to stock a mixture of red and white wine. If possible, tailor it to the food you’re serving for a real wow-factor. It’s also worth keeping some beers cool in the fridge. We’ll leave it up to you whether you break out the hard liquor! Finally, make sure you have some soft drinks available too, as some guests might be driving.
Break out the fancy dinnerware – Dinner parties are the perfect chance to use the fancy china sitting in your cupboard. Set the table before the guests arrive and use your best dinner set. We like the elegant Carrs cutlery set from Table Top, if you need a little inspiration.
Keep conversation flowing – The lull in conversation is every dinner host’s worst nightmare. The trick here is to provide plenty of talking points. You can use subtle decorations and objects to spark conversation. For example, try putting some holiday photos around the room. Use an unusual possession to spark a conversation topic. We also suggest putting on some light music in the background. It will help diffuse tension and your guests will feel more relaxed.
Don’t force the fun – Finally, try not to force the evening in a certain direction. Let it take a natural course and the fun will flow. Guests sometimes find it off-putting when they’re forced into games or activities.
Follow these tips and your guests will go home with a big smile on their face. Now the pressure’s off and it’s someone else’s turn!