If you’re hosting a dinner party and want to make an impression, you’ll need to be at the top of your game. Planning is essential, with the menu, the guest list, the wine, all needing attention, and when the day arrives, the host manages to deliver the perfect meal in a great atmosphere. Here are a few tips to ensure that the occasion is remembered by all, for the right reasons.
Review the kitchen
Make sure you have the cooking capabilities to prepare and cook the selected menu, and if your kitchen has seen better days, you might consider designer ex-display kitchens, a really cost-effective way to get a kitchen upgrade.
Consider inviting a few extra people
You may have a friend who is very witty, and could add some humour to the occasion, or you might want to pair one of your guests with a suitable companion for the evening, and an extra person or two won’t make too much difference to the menu. Try to avoid inviting people with strong opposite views on topics, as this could lead to an embarrassing experience.
Prepare as much as possible ahead of time
The more you do in advance, the better, so all desserts, sauces, and cold dishes, should be prepared, and kept in airtight containers in the fridge, ready to be used. Make sure you have an ample supply of ice, and check to see who smokes and who doesn’t, and make suitable arrangements if possible. A balcony would be the ideal place to have a smoke, or perhaps leave a couple of chairs in the garden, oh and don’t forget an ash tray.
Arrange the Bar area
Overseeing the cooking process will take up most of your time, no matter how much you have prepared, so make sure there is a comfortable area where guests can sit and enjoy a drink. There should be ice, and a choice of white or red wine, a selection of spirits and mixers, and perhaps some beers in the cooler, depending on the guests’ tastes. Don’t forget the snacks, and always make sure that you introduce people before rushing off to the kitchen. The garden is ideal in the summer months, and if you have a patio, this is the perfect bar location. Make sure there are sufficient chairs, and lighting is important, especially if the party goes on until the early hours.
Create a playlist
This should include the right music (you know your guests), and should be long enough to last until the last person leaves. Once compiled, the playlist will eliminate those awkward disc changes, and leave you to focus on other things. Be careful with volume, as people want to be able to have a conversation, and dinner parties can provide an excellent platform for inspirational dialogue, and as the host, be prepared to initiate conversations.
If you’ve done your research on your guests, and planned the event well, it should be a success, and an enjoyable experience for the host, as well as the guests.