There’s no denying that food brings people together. After all, dining with friends and loved ones over a delicious dinner and great conversation is a simple pleasure not to be taken for granted in the fast and hurried world we live in. However, the thought of cooking a significant amount of food for a good number of people often intimidates those who otherwise have the potential to be incredible hosts.
That’s why we have compiled a useful guide on how to throw the best dinner party imaginable, one step at a time. Don’t miss out on an exciting opportunity to be the ‘hostest with the mostest’ for those closest to you.
Know your Audience
The first thing to keep in mind when hosting any party, but especially one where dinner will be served, is your guest list. Consider the group you are inviting by asking some questions such as, ‘Does anyone have specific food allergies I should know about?’ or ‘Will I need to adapt my recipes to accommodate both meat-eaters and vegetarians?’ Hosts can also be upfront with their invitees by asking them what type of dishes they prefer and which ones they honestly can’t stand. This is truly the best way to avoid any last-minute food surprises, or better said, disappointments.
Three Words: Prep, Prep, Prep
The best way to avoid feeling stressed on the day of your event is to prep most of the food you will be serving beforehand. This way, when guests arrive you can be attentive to them instead of stuck in the kitchen, cooking away. Of course, there will be certain plates that are better served fresh, such as salads, but larger dishes like casseroles and slow-cooked stews should undoubtedly be prepped hours before the big day.
Post-Dinner Games are a Must
After all the plates have been cleared and desert is on the brink of being served, it may seem like your dinner party is coming to an end. If you want to keep your guests around long after their hunger has been satisfied, games are the best answer!
Think about which games and activities your guests may enjoy the most and then make sure you are equipped with the supplies to make it happen. For example, if you already know your friends are poker enthusiasts, it can be a great idea to facilitate a tournament following dinner. You’ll already have adequate seating and be nicely arranged around a table, so all you’ll need is a sturdy deck of cards that can bend and slide easily without losing their shape. Official poker chips can be substituted for household items like paper clips and rubber bands.
Although this is just one example, having a fun and popular game in mind that does not require much prep is a great way to take your dinner to the next level and keep the party going all night long.
Make it Festive
Depending on when your dinner party is set to take place, there is more than likely one way or another to make it extra festive. For example, if you are hosting a party this fall, you can decorate your table with leaves and autumnal colours like oranges and reds. For a Christmas event, consider making decorative wreathes to hang on the doors, or arranging twinkly lights in the dining room to set the mood. Regardless of the theme, fresh flowers are always a great way to elevate the aesthetics of the table setting. Remember that while not everything has to match, visually pleasing decorations will only add to the overall look and feel of the gathering.
Caption: It’s up to the host how festive he or she would like to get, but acknowledging the current season with decorations and little details can add a special touch to any dinner party
Relax and Enjoy!
After your menu has been finalized, games chosen, and decorations hung, it’s a great time to remind yourself, as the host, to sit back and relax. It’s common to see dinner hosts scurrying back and forth from kitchen to table, aiming to satisfy their guests no matter the cost. However, it’s important to be present and enjoy this time you have carved out for people to come together. At the end of the day, even if a pie gets burnt or a fish is undercooked, the thing people will remember the most will be the laughs and good times shared, not if the food wasn’t premium restaurant quality.