The table is set, the candles are lit and the bathrooms are stocked with toilette paper. Dinner party season is upon us as many domestic divas prepare for the holidays. An intimidating task but a rewarding one, hosting a dinner is a skilful sport. From the menu to music and who to invite, hosting a dinner party can be a daunting duty. Read on for tips and suggestions to throwing the ultimate dinner party while having fun!
Guests and Entertainment
Do invite people of a similar ilk. Stimulating conversation is one of the most important elements to a successful dinner party, but how do you ensure the dialogue will be as delicious as the dessert? Invite strangers over who share similar passions like fashion, art or politics, or invite a group of old friends over to spark childhood chatter. Play ambience music during dinner (perhaps some gypsy guitar or modern jazz) and figure out what your guests want to listen to before busting out the Dance Mix ’95.
Don’t overdo the guest list.
Inviting 8 people, when your dinner table only seats 6, will force couples to the kids table and quickly out of your home. Be sure to have enough space, china and time to accommodate all your guests equally. And don’t invite conflicting relationships like your friend’s ex boyfriend or his new girlfriend, a late night game of Twister can cause some serious destruction and damage.
Food and Drink
Do plan and prepare your meal a head of time, starting with hot and cold hors d’oeuvres (finger foods that can be eaten while standing up and mingling are best). Greet guests with a signature cocktail (be creative and come up with the devilish drink yourself) and spread crackers and dips around the house and in the rooms you expect to socialize in. Impress them further with a 4 course meal consisting of an appetizer, a salad, a main and a dessert but cook what you can and don’t worry about skipping a course if preparation is too overwhelming. A fun way to keep things simple is to decide on a cuisine theme; choose a place in the world or a star ingredient to focus on for the night.
Don’t make the menu a surprise if you’re not 100% sure of your guests’ dietary needs.
Finding out your boss is a vegetarian after you’ve slaved over a leg of lamb is going to make everyone feel uncomfortable and even embarrassed. Talk to your guests and get a feel for what they eat and what they don’t, while being open and excited to even creating a vegan meal if need be. Don’t forget to research which wines go with your meal and don’t forget to take it easy! Alternating homemade ice tea with alcoholic beverages isn’t just to ensure your guests drive home safe; there is nothing more unattractive than an intoxicated host, especially in the age of camera phones.