As we start to socialise again with our family and friends post lockdown, a dinner party at home is the perfect way to reconnect.
Here are our tips on hosting an effortless dinner party, or at least one that looks like it!
Keep it intimate. When hosting a dinner party at home it's nice when everyone can be part of the conversation, and the smaller the guest list the easier it will be for you to execute.
Be sure to communicate the dress code with guests to avoid anyone feeling uncomfortable if they're too over or under dressed. You can either have fun with it and tell everyone to dress up, or keep it casual.
The table setting is one of the easiest ways to elevate a dinner party, and you can easily create a beautiful setting on a budget. Either work with your table top or use a table cloth. We love to use a linen table cloth and napkins, as they're easy to wash and wear but they always feel elegant.
Set the table with appropriate glassware and cutlery for the dishes being served, add a couple of candles for ambiance. We also love a little foliage for wow factor by cutting from the garden or going to your local florist and selecting some leaves and natives that wont wilt. They'll be beautiful and a great talking point.
Make sure to check in with everyone's dietary requirements ahead of time to land on a menu that caters to everyone. It's also best to avoid making a dish for the first time during a dinner party, so either go with a tried and tested favourite or do a trial run prior. Keep it as simple as possible so you're not spending the entire time in the kitchen.
Preparation is key
Prepare as much as possible in advance. Dishes like dessert can be made prior and try chopping up vegetables in advance and storing them in the fridge to streamline your cooking process.
To keep your clean up under control start your evening with an empty dishwater and a clean kitchen sink so you can quickly stack dirty dishes as you go or place into the sink.
Match the right wine for the dishes being served and make sure to have non-alcoholic drinks to offer your guests.
Ambiance and Music
Prepare a playlist ahead of time so you're not on your phone switching between songs. Keeping the sound low so you can hear conversations and picking music that's not distracting is key. Try utilising lamps and candles rather than bright down lights will help to a set a mood.
Keep Calm and Enjoy Your Company
Things will always go wrong, but it doesn't need to ruin your evening. Keeping calm and laughing off any kitchen disasters is the best plan. Accept help, embrace your friends and be thankful for being able to reconnect in person.