Throwing A Stress-Free Dinner Party
Dinner parties are the perfect way to get those closest to you, together for a good social gathering. There’s nothing better than being able to have everybody round to enjoy some good food, great conversation and a good laugh. Hosting your own dinner party can often however, become a little stressful and overwhelming, but as long as you stick to a list and keep things organised, it really doesn’t need to be!
Upon deciding to have a dinner party, there’s a few things you need to decide straight away, in order to keep yourself nice and organised. Deciding upon a who to invite and the type of dinner party you wish to throw is really important, as it’s going to help you with the planning ahead. Many people choose from a theme for their dinner parties, such as Italian, Steak Night, Mexican or something similar. Once you’ve decided on who to invite and what cuisine to serve, it’s best to run your ideas past your chosen guests, this way you can find out whether any of your guests suffer from allergies or dislike certain foods. Once this has been sorted, you can now focus on preparing for your party.
When it comes to your meal planning, try and stick to recipes and methods that you’re familiar with. It’s not really a good idea to decide to make an extravagant dish for the first time, on the afternoon of the dinner party! Try and follow the plan of a 3 course meal, starter, main course and dessert, as this will keep your guests going and enable you to show off your culinary skills. Something light for your starter is best, as you don’t want to fill your guests up before they receive their mains and desserts. One key thing to remember is portion size, whilst it’s important to make sure you don’t overwhelm your guests with too much food, it’s still important to remember to cook for a party of guests, and not your usual smaller number.
Planning, as always, is key. It’s so important for you to know exactly what you’re doing, what you will need and also what time frame you have for each section of your day. Keeping yourself organised will also prevent you from stressing or feeling stuck for time, which is really important when being a host. Once you’ve planned your menu and purchased your required items, it’s time to start with the prep. Start by preparing the hard parts first, things that take the longest time and items that could, potentially, go wrong. This way you have time to rectify the situation is anything doesn’t go to plan. Your prep and planning will certainly help you to keep the stress levels down and not get into a panic at the last minute! One final thing to consider with the prepping is to clean up as you go. There’s nothing more frustrating than preparing a meal, and running out of equipment to use because its dirty from the previous task. Similarly, you don’t want to be getting off-cuts of food in the main dish or pan, so making sure you clean up throughout the process will really help to keep mess and stress to a minimum.
Now that the tricky parts are under control, you can start on the fun, exciting parts. One thing to keep in mind when preparing your home for this dinner party is that people will be coming to your home and experiencing the way you live. Your home is a true reflection of you and it’s important that you show this off and embrace your home. Making sure the house is tidy and presentable in advance will prevent you running around the house with the hoover, whilst trying to get ready at the same time! Keep things neat and in place and you’re sure to feel proud and confident when your guests arrive.
The final thing to do before your guests arrive is to decorate your table. Whether you have a grand oak dining table or a modern glass top, it’s so important to create a beautiful layout for your guest to enjoy. Many popular dinner party table sets include features such as a table runner, to keep any serving dishes on, and then individual placemats and coasters. You could then go on to add personal touches such as name cards or even a small token gift. However, you wish to present your table is down to personal preference, but the little details often make as much of an impact as the larger ones! Other elegant touches such as a fresh vase of flowers or some pretty candles will help to add to the atmosphere and create a beautiful feel to the room.