As I get older, I love the idea of throwing a dinner party. A dinner party is one of the most delightful things when it comes to hosting. We get to cook food we love for the people we love. You can get creative too. You might want to design a whole 28-course tasting menu or keep it stripped back and simple with a delicious bacon-wrapped filet mignon and herbed potatoes.
It really all comes down to the company, but being a great host isn’t just about serving up delectable dishes. So here are some quick tips for pulling off the perfect dinner party.
You want to ensure that you have a conversation that flows freely all evening. This means you’ll need to pay careful attention to who you are inviting. There are some friend groups that don’t mix, and others that have a firecracker who can talk about anything. Make the decision based on who makes you smile, and you can’t go far wrong.
Most groups of people will have one or two dietary requirements. Try to keep that in mind when you are preparing your menu. Almost all dishes can be made for vegetarians, vegans, and those with intolerances and allergies. It is a small and thoughtful step in your preparation.
If you don’t have a natural cleaning schedule, then a few days before your dinner party, it’s time to prep the space. Your home doesn’t need to be as picture-perfect as a show home, because this is all about spending time together. But, spending some time cleaning up and decluttering anyway. Think about where people will gather after the meal. Is there enough toilet paper and hand soap in the bathrooms?
Double-check you have all of your pots, pans, and enough cutlery for all of your guests. You can even set these out the day before, streamlining it all will make cooking even more enjoyable.
You might not have to even think about this. Depending on your friends, they might be happy to sit anywhere. If you, however, have people meeting for the first time, or there is a mix of personalities, you can spend some time creating seating placement cards. Most people will like to sit with someone that they know. However, you can mix it up and have fun with the seating.
When you are hosting, it is tempting to stay standing, serving, and busy all evening taking care of your guests. Simply watching all of your hard work pay off, and people enjoy themselves. However, even when you serve yourself last, make sure you take your seat and join in with the conversations that are happening. Be part of the moment, as well as facilitate it.
And finally, once the meal is over, it is likely that people will offer to help you clean up. Accept the offer of helping to tidy up, as it can be a thank you for the effort that you have put in.