When getting together with old friends – or new ones – there’s nothing better than a relaxed and intimate environment.
Bars can always get a bit noisy, especially on a weekend, and restaurants expect you to leave when the meal is over. You want a place where people can interact and talk freely. You want somewhere that automatically makes people feel at home. That’s why a dinner party is the perfect setting.
That being said, dinner parties can become stressful. At first it can seem like a great idea… until the last minute when you’re worrying about everything from the main course to the dining room furniture. So here are some simple ways to host the perfect dinner party without having a panic attack.
The guest list matters – “While the menu is important, nothing is more critical to the success of a dinner party than creating the right mix of guests. A good host will take the time to evaluate potential invitees and decide whether they will have the right chemistry not only to get along, but also to create an interesting evening full of conversation and laughs,” says howstuffworks.com.
Set the tone – From the moment the first guest walks through the door, they should feel like it’s going to be a night to remember. Put on some background music, but choose soothing tunes when you select your playlist. Dimming the lights and putting out some candles can really add some atmosphere.
Be prepared – Plan ahead, from the menu to the décor. bbcgoodfood.com advises you to avoid planning meals and dishes that keep you in the kitchen all night. “You don’t want to have massive gaps between courses and then emerge from the kitchen flustered, covered in food and having missed half the conversation.”
Go with “tried and tested” – Although your dinner guests may seem like the perfect people to try out your new dish with, never use a new recipe on the night of your dinner party. Rather go with a menu you know that you can pull off.
Let your guests mingle – Don’t go straight to the dinner table, encourage your guests to socialise for a while before the meal is served. Bring the appetisers into the living room and give people at least half an hour to get to know each other.
Be social – There’s nothing worse at a dinner party than an absent host. Set up a bar in the living room so that guests can help themselves to drinks. That way you don’t have to run up and down every time someone needs a drink and they don’t have to ask.
Hosting the perfect dinner party doesn’t have to be stressful. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll ensure that both you and your guests have an amazing night.