With a little planning, anyone can elevate a dinner party to a new realm. Here are our top tips for hosting an event to remember.
Set a sensational scene
Start setting the mood for your dinner party long before the first guests arrive. Instead of taking the easy route of an SMS invite, why don’t you craft beautiful paper invitations that evoke the mood of the night ahead? People rarely get snail mail these days – and they will certainly appreciate the effort. If you’re planning a night of glamour, don’t forget to put the dress code on your invitations.
Three spaces for success
On the night of your dinner party, it’s a great idea to have three separate zones, each thoughtfully decorated to create the atmosphere you’re after. The first zone is where you serve the welcome cocktails and nibbles. In summer, this may be out on the deck or your impeccably mowed lawn. Once the meal is ready to be served, invite guests to take a seat at your beautifully laid dining table (hint: a gorgeous arrangement of fresh flowers and a scattering of candles never go astray. Also, pull out the linen napkins for this one). Finally, create a zone where guests can retreat to cosy couches for a final glass of wine or coffee.
Keep the liquids flowing
Your welcome drinks will set the mood for the night ahead. Why not impress your guests with a delicious berry punch or two? At the dinner table, ensure there is plenty of water – sparkling or still – and a few bottles of white and red wine that guests can help themselves to. Once your guests have retired to the couch, they might like a digestif liqueur or perhaps a coffee.
A memorable meal
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Yes, fabulous food will impress your guests. But they’ll be less than impressed if they have to wait until 10:30pm before the first course is served. Choose recipes that allow you to prepare as much as possible in advance, so that you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time socialising with your guests. Round out the menu with a show-stopping dessert like this white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. And remember, little imperfections in your cooking are nothing to apologise for. Your guests will be grateful for the effort you’ve gone to.
Get more delicious recipe ideas here.