How to throw a last minute dinner party

diningroomIt’s 9am and you’re slowly sipping your first cup of coffee of the morning. With bleary eyes and a tired brain you take a look at the emails on your computer screen in front of you. One of them wakes you with the power of 10 double espressos. A group of friends have been invited for dinner at your home. Tonight.

You’ve got a full day of work ahead of you and no time to get to the shops. Your guests are expected to arrive at 6pm. You have no choice but to make this happen from what you already have at home. This is your guide to throwing the ultimate last minute dinner party.

5.15pm

Walk in the door and immediately start assessing the situation in your living and dining areas. Pack away any clutter which may have accumulated during the week. Wipe down all surfaces and dust off your dining room furniture. Clean your bathroom by hiding all your toiletries and dirty laundry. Head into the kitchen and quickly wash the breakfast dishes. Remove the post, bills and receipts which inexplicably collect on the kitchen counters. Scan the cupboards and fridge to see what you have on hand.

5.30pm

The ultimate crowd pleaser for a last minute get together is a cheese platter. Check your cupboard for crackers, nuts, gherkins, cocktail onions and olives. Have a look inside your fridge next. Remove all cheeses, cold meats, vegetables and fruits. Start to arrange everything on platters. If there is anything blatantly missing, fire off a quick text to ask your man if he can stop at the shop on the way home. Search your wine rack for a few decent bottles. Your guests will hopefully bring some too, but open one or two bottles to breathe and have ready to pour when they walk through the door.

5.45pm

Run down the passage to your bedroom. Clean up any messes or clutter you find along the way. You never know when an errant guest might go exploring. Take a few minutes to change out of your office clothes, freshen up and remove your shoes.

5.55pm

Now is the time for last minute touches. Pick a few flowers from the garden and arrange in a vase. Light candles and scatter them around your home. Switch on the music. Pour yourself a glass of wine and help yourself to a cracker. You deserve it.

The key to your party is obviously making sure your kitchen cupboards are well stocked ahead of time. By keeping a few essentials around at all times, you’ll be sure to always pull off a successful last minute dinner party.

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