Dinner parties are among the best parties out there. Many people regularly invite friends or loved-ones to their homes to throw a dinner party and put their cookery skills on display. But how do you make sure your home is ready to host the dinner party of the season?
The first step is to make sure you have plenty of matching dishes and cutlery. A nice serving dish is nice too, but depends on what you’re serving. Make sure you have plenty of matching dishes for appetisers and amuse-bouches, and come up with a menu that will allow you to display your abilities and your dishware appropriately.
You’ll want to make sure your home is tidy, but more than that your kitchen has to sparkle. While this can seem impossible when you’re cooking all day, it is not too difficult if you clean up as you cook and keep the surfaces tidy and clean. This not only shows you to be a professional-quality cook and hostess, but also imbues you and your guests with a sense of confidence in your cooking skills.
Ensure there are plenty of seating spaces in the main room. If you need to borrow chairs, do so well in advance to prevent yourself from ending up in a fluster at the last-minute. You’ll need to make sure your living and dining room are clean and tidy, but you can also add little touches to make them more appropriate for a dinner party; for example, a vase of fresh flowers (from the garden if your budget is tight, from the shop if it isn’t) will spruce up a room in no time, and a new tablecloth can make a huge difference, too. Make sure the TV is turned off – after all, your guests aren’t coming to watch the telly!
Personalised name tags for people’s seats can add a touch of class. Make them yourself by folding some card and writing the names on one side with silver or gold gel pen, or print them off in a fancy font, again on card, and cut out and fold after the fact.
The wonderful thing about a dinner party is that you can behave like someone you aren’t always necessarily like. Putting a little more oomph behind your hosting skills may be unlike your usual behaviour, but will add a bit of panache to your dinner party and will charm your guests every moment of the day.
Finally, something small for your guests to take away could be the cherry on the cake. A truly wonderfully personal and fun gift is biscuit mix. Purchase some glass jars and fill them with a dry biscuit recipe. Print out a card with the rest of the recipe on it; for example, “Add one egg and 250 ml of milk, bake for 25 minutes on gas mark 6.” Tie the recipe card to the neck of the jar with a fancy ribbon and you have a gorgeous present that costs little to make. If you ensure the dry ingredients are prettily layered (for example, flour then cocoa then more flour then brown sugar then chocolate chips) you can end up with some stunning-looking jars that will astonish your guests and bring them plenty of fun when they make the biscuits for themselves.
A dinner party is an amazing way to bring friends together and share your home and food with them. Outfit your home correctly and you could have the makings of an amazing evening at your disposal.