Must-Know Tips For A Fantastic Dinner Party
Ah, the art of the dinner party. It’s something that has been around for centuries and is also something that we have seen a bit of resurgence of recently. The cost of going out for the evening, especially to eat, is rising, and therefore more and more of us are now choosing to entertain at home instead. During the winter months especially, at-home entertaining is very popular. After all, who wants to trek into the town center when it’s cold, wet and icy? It is much nicer to cozy up around at someone’s house and enjoy a home-cooked meal away from all the business of local restaurants and bars. But it can also be great to host a dinner party in the summer too, especially if you can have it al-fresco. If you have decided to host one of your own in the near future, good for you! But there are some things you should know before you do so, so you can pull off the perfect dinner party.
Don’t be overly ambitious
When planning a dinner party, the temptation to pull something really crazy and avant-garde out of the bag can be overwhelming. Or maybe you want to challenge yourself with a complex type of cuisine you’ve never attempted before. Whilst you would definitely get points for trying, a dinner party isn’t really the most appropriate occasion to make sushi for the first time. It is better to stick to a recipe you know or at least a cuisine you are familiar with. That doesn’t mean you can’t jazz it up a bit, but make sure you, for the most part, know what you are doing. The last thing you want is for it all to go wrong and you all end up ordering pizza instead! Also bear in mind that if your kitchen and dining area is open-plan, you may be cooking at the same time as chatting to your guests. This can be very distracting if you are having to follow a very precise recipe, so if you do plan to do something new, at least practice it a couple of times first.
Think you have all the time in the world to cook your dinner party meal as and when it’s required? Unfortunately, in most cases, you will probably find that this doesn’t actually work out for you. Three courses plus appetizers and a cheeseboard, if that’s what you are doing, will be difficult for you to achieve in front of your guests. In order to be a good host, as well, it’s important that you remain relatively unflappable. A stressed-out atmosphere isn’t really going to set the tone for the evening and could potentially make your guests feel uncomfortable. By preparing some of your dishes ahead, you will save yourself time and potentially a lot of stress too. Before you do so, consider which dishes you will actually be able to do this with. Some certain types of food don’t do well if they are left for a long period before consumption. Equally, some food can be ruined if it is microwaved, so think about what you will need to serve fresh. Generally speaking, you can make most desserts in advance, especially if they are cold ones like mousse. Some need time to set in the fridge or freezer as well, so you may actually be required to make them the day before. Canapes are also something else you should consider making the night before, especially as they tend to be so fiddly. That way, you can greet your guests on arrival and serve up some appetizers straight away.
Dress the table
No self-respecting host would expect their guests to eat off their laps on the couch at a dinner party. Whilst this is more than acceptable for takeout night, dinner parties are generally a bit more formal – meaning that if you don’t currently have a dining table, you might want to get one before your guests arrive! An easy way to make your home a bit more dinner party ready is by dressing the table appropriately. Adding restaurant quality tablecloths to your home is a perfect way to make your setup look a little more professional and impressive. It also stops the risk of any spillages or scrapes from cutlery damaging the surface of your dining table. Next, check that you have all the necessary cutlery and glassware that will enable you to host. After all, there’s nothing worse than one of your guests having to eat their soup with a ladle because you didn’t realize you were a spoon short! Take a look at table setups online for tips on how to arrange said cutlery and glassware if you’re not entirely sure where everything should go. Finally, you may want to consider getting a decorative centerpiece for your table, or at the very least adding some candles to help set the mood.
Add the finishing touches
Strictly speaking, just about anyone can host a dinner party. But it’s the attention to detail that can make or break it and can cement you in people’s memories as a great host. As well as your table candles, pay attention to the other lighting in the room you are going to eat in. Anything too bright looks too harsh, but anything too dark and your guests may not be able to see the food they are eating! You should aim for a happy medium, if you can, as this helps to create an ambiance. Another factor that can help to create an atmosphere is having some music on in the background. If you have an extreme music taste, it’s usually best to avoid this kind of genre (despite the temptation to play your favourite songs) in favour of something that everyone will like. Remember, the music shouldn’t distract from the conversation, so don’t have it too loud. Ideally, it should be something without lyrics, or at least something relaxed and low-key. There are plenty of great Spotify playlists that you can simply put on in the background whilst you eat and socialize. Every dinner party is different, and you’ll probably want to add your own twist to it. But follow these tips and you can at least be sure that everything will run smoothly.
Tia, and TipsfromTia.com is trying to keep you looking good and
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