How to host the perfect dinner party
By Chloë Green
Hosting a dinner party can be stressful, but these tips will keep you focused and on track so that you can enjoy the evening with your guests.
Cook with confidence
When it comes to choosing your menu, confidence is key! Choose dishes you’ve made before and are familiar with. It’s important to remember to check the dietary requirements of your guests beforehand to avoid any awkwardness on the night.
Prep, prep, prep!
If you’re going to be doing the majority of cooking on the night, it’s a good idea to prepare what you can beforehand. Chop your onions & vegetables, marinate your meat and keep it all the fridge until its cooking time. Making a dessert in advance can also save a lot of time and can be served straight from the fridge or heated up in the oven.
Clear space, clear mind
Prepping your food in advance means you can clean up your workspace before the main event. Ensure that your dishwasher is empty so you can load it throughout the evening as you clear away used tableware. Emptying the bin will also give you more room and will eliminate any nasty smells.
The dining table is where your guests will spend most of the evening, so making it look special is essential. Using a floral/leafy centrepiece and some candles will create a stylish and inviting atmosphere. Use cloth napkins, and put out salt and pepper shakers - even if you think your food doesn’t need it, it’s polite.
Create a playlist of relaxed tunes to play in the background, but make sure they aren’t too distracting or too boring. Some music genres may send your guests to sleep, and others may make them too rowdy - you want a happy medium. Whatever you do, don’t forget the music - silence can be louder than you think.
Plan your time out so you know how long each dish will take to cook, and start cooking before you think you need to - cooking always takes longer than you think & you don’t want to keep guests hungrily waiting!
Mix up the space
Moving away from the dining table to serve dessert and coffee in a different space can help to break the evening up, provide a change of scenery, and make guests feel more ‘at home’. They’ll be so comfortable they won’t want to leave, so good luck with that!