Dinner parties are all about enjoying some great food in excellent company. If you’re looking to host your first ever dinner party, the trick is to avoid over complicating it. With a little bit of preparation and planning, it’s easy to host an amazing dinner party without causing any stress. In order to help you host the best dinner party ever, we’ve put together our top 8 tips for a stress-free and fun evening.
- Keep it small
When hosting your first ever dinner party, it’s probably not the best idea to invite 20 guests. Keep the numbers down to close friends or family so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and can focus on enjoying the night. 4 or 5 people is a perfect number of guests to begin with. As you host more dinner parties, you can always start increasing guest numbers as you get to grips with dishes and set up.
- Check dietary requirements
Make sure to check if your guests have any dietary requirements before planning your menu so that you can plan dishes accordingly. This will give you plenty of time to think of some yummy dishes that will suit all your guests’ needs and make life easy for you on the night. The last thing you want is someone turning up with a dietary requirement that you haven’t catered for…
- Prepare ahead
When planning your menu, think about dishes that can be made ahead of time. The more you can prepare in advance, the more time you’ll be able to enjoy with your guests rather than being stuck in the kitchen. One-pot dishes such as lasagnes or stews are perfect for making in advance and reheating, whilst desserts like cheesecake and Crème Brûlée can even be made a day in advance and left in the fridge.
- Don’t go too far outside the box
As tempting as it might be, don’t try to impress with your cooking skills too much. Cook what you are confident with and don’t make something that you’ve never made before on the day. By all means, experiment with new flavours but perhaps do a few practice runs before you have a table of hungry guests to feed.
- Create a timeplan
You don’t need to draw up an excel spreadsheet, but jotting down a rough time schedule for the evening will help everything run smoothly and prevent any unnecessary stress. Think about the oven/ hob space you’re going to need for each course and the timings. Having this planned in advance is sure to make you feel a whole lot more confident.
- Provide plenty of drinks and backup nibbles
Make sure you have a good selection of drinks and nibbles to keep your guests happy whilst you’re working on the food. Having backup nibbles, such as olives and crisps, will be an absolute saviour if the food is delayed or you come across a problem in the kitchen.
- Set the scene
Dig out your best glassware and serving dishes and spend some time making the table look great. Simple touches like flowers and candles will all help to create a wonderful atmosphere for you and your guests to enjoy. Don’t forget to play a good soundtrack in the background as well!
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
Relax and enjoy yourself. Dinner parties are as much about the company as they are the food so don’t stress too much if something goes wrong in the kitchen or you burn one of the sides. Your guests certainly won’t think any less of you so it’s really not worth stressing about. If you’re having a good time then guaranteed your guests will be too!