Be inspired by these simple ways to host a stress-free dinner party, whether you’re opting for the full three courses or throwing a more casual affair.
Laying the perfect table
When it comes to laying your table, only place on it what you really need. If you’re planning to put a number of dishes on the table for people to serve themselves from then a large centre piece or table runner may be impractical. Along with your table cloth, napkins and glassware, consider adding charger plates – these won’t take up too much additional space but will add a little extra something to your table.
Added touches and atmosphere
If you’ve got the space and time to play with then adding a few extra little touches will elevate the look and feel of your dinner party. Candles, foliage, name place cards and a menu on each plate will add a real sense of occasion. Don’t forget background music to help set the scene.
Planning your evening
Consider the pace of the evening, along with your timings around any food you might be cooking. Do you want guests seated as soon as they arrive or are you planning welcome drinks in the kitchen, followed by dinner around the table, with coffee in the living room to end the evening? There’s nothing wrong with planning the structure of the evening if it will help bring everything together at the same time.
Entertainment for the evening
This can be as simple as a game planned for after dinner or a cocktail making session in the kitchen before sitting down to your meal. We love the idea of asking everyone to bring a couple of ingredients to make cocktails with and then spending an hour or so perfecting a cocktail recipe before the main event.
Food for thought
When hosting a dinner party, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with planning the menu and feeding more people than usual. Opt for a cold starter to free up some time, and if you know your guests don’t have a particularly sweet tooth then serve up a cheese platter rather than dessert. This will free up your time to cook the main course and, most importantly, spend time with your guests.
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