dinner party

10 tips for hosting a perfect dinner party

Hosting a dinner party for your friends or family members can be stressful and time-consuming to prepare. The perfect host will make everyone at the dinner party feel at ease. If you, for example, know that there are tensions between people or specific friends with opposing views and you might know that there will be a clash between them, do not seat them next to each other. If you want your dinner party to go perfectly, here are some tips that might help you with achieving just that:

  1. Decide on a theme of the party – the theme does not have to be strict and your guests do not have to follow it, but it will help you and serve as a guideline for the types of dishes you will prepare, as well as the table setting. It will also stop you from getting overwhelmed by a variety of choices you have. Even something simple, like a “spring” theme, will help you create a menu (you can implement fresh vegetable, lamb, asparagus, radishes, for a spring theme), and the table setting (white dishes, bread or rolls served in a woven basket, a bouquet of spring flower, etc.)

  1. Plan the menu ahead of time – write down what meals you are planning on making, and read through the recipes for each of the dishes. You could also make notes, like the prep time, cooking time, and the cooking method. If you realize that you will need to have three dishes in the oven at the same time, but your oven only has two racks, you might want to think about changing one of the menu options.
  1. Check if some of your guests have special diet requirements – one of the most frustrating things is taking a lot of time to prepare the food, just to find out that some of your friends cannot eat it due to a food allergy or diet restriction. Before planning the menu, always check with your invited guests if some of them have food allergies.
  1. Make a dessert that does not have to be fresh from the oven – desserts like rice pudding, cakes, cupcakes, and tarts can be made the day before and kept in the fridge overnight. With these desserts, you will want to take them out of the fridge at least 4 hours before they are served in order to allow them to come to room temperature.
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  1. Think about the beverages – while it might be easy just to rely on a bottle of red wine to serve alongside dinner, you will need to think about it differently. Firstly, make sure that the people who are non-drinkers have something to drink. And secondly, try to choose the beverage choice according to your menu. For example, a bottle of Moscato white wine goes perfectly with spicy, sour, salty, and bitter foods. So, in order to choose the right beverage, make sure that you know with what food they go with.
  1. Do not forget to choose music – music makes a big difference in any situation, hence you should choose something that is easy to listen to.
  1. Accept that things might go wrong – burning the main course is not a good thing, however, it will probably turn into a funny story within the group of people that are at the dinner party, so you will need to accept that something might go wrong during the evening.
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Conclusion

One of the most important things to remember is to have fun! You did do all the hard work by preparing everything for the dinner party, so now that your friends or family members have arrived, give yourself a little bit of a break, and relax a little bit with them.

How to Host a Spectacular Dinner Part

A dinner party in 2019 serves a different function than it did 20 or 30 years ago. Americans tend to be more isolated these days, including at mealtimes. On average, we eat about 20 percent of meals in our cars.

When we eat together, we’re often doing it with our phones positioned right beside our dinner plates. The right dinner party can offer you a chance to reconnect with friends and loved ones. It should let you be present enough to enjoy both your friends’ company and some delicious food. Here are three ways to host a spectacular dinner party.

Limit phone usage

It may feel weird to restrict your guests’ phone usage. They’re adults, after all, not children with limited screen time. But if you don’t put some limits on phone time, then the conversation will lag as everyone decides it’s easier to check their Instagram than to genuinely engage with the person sitting across from them. Etiquette expert Lizzie Post suggests asking people to put away their phones once a cocktail hour is over.

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For one thing, you’re a better company when you’re not staring at your Facebook feed. The food also tastes better when you’re not preoccupied with something else. As long as you let people know ahead of time that you don’t want people to be on their phones all night, you should be good. But avoid confiscating people’s phones when they walk in the door. It’s a dinner party, not a top-secret celebrity wedding. Saying, “You can put your phone in the other room” is fine, but treating people like spies is not cool.

Emphasize the theme

For a super-casual party, you may not need a theme. But a theme becomes critical as the party gets more formal. As a host, you want to provide people with a memorable experience they’ll be talking about for a while. An 80s-themed party is much more likely to leave a lasting impression than a party where the only theme seems to be let’s stuff ourselves and drink alcohol.

A theme also lends itself well to decorations and party favors. For instance, say you’re throwing a party in March. A “Welcome to Spring” party is a way to congratulate people for surviving the cold, harsh winter. Adding spring decor like flowers cheers people up and makes them feel more connected to the dinner party. For an extra boost, look at customized party favors from a company like Premier Glow. A mug or shot glass with something like “Spring Has Sprung 2019” engraved on the side works as a souvenir of the celebration. A theme can really make the party feel like a celebration rather than just a random gathering of people at your house.

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Set a realistic budget

Think about the most important aspects of the party while you’re budgeting. Obviously, food is going to be the most critical factor of a dinner party. If you’re not a confident cook, you’ll want to look into catering services. But be warned that catering services are often more expensive than you might think. Many catering companies will have a minimum amount you must spend. In some cases, that amount could be over $1,000.

If you can’t afford that much, that’s more than understandable. But you have to start pricing catering services early so you don’t get left in the lurch at the last minute. If you can’t afford a full catering service with wait staff, maybe you can get to-go platters from a local restaurant. You can pick up the platters, then take them back to your house and re-plate them so that you aren’t serving your guest’s lasagna in styrofoam containers. Taste is key, but don’t skimp on presentation, either.