A dinner party is an opportunity for a group of people to gather around a dinner table and share good food, good company and good conversation. I love hosting dinner parties. I enjoy the entire process, so I will share how I do it here.
- Decide your guest list. Invite people who, even if they don’t know one another, will have something to talk with others with. I don’t do invitations for my dinner parties, I call or even e-mail my guests to arrange my guests and available dates.
- Plan your menu. Keep in mind the time required to prepare the items. How much preparation can be done ahead of time? You don’t want to have to spend all of your time in the kitchen, you want to enjoy the party, too. Have you prepared the dish before? You don’t want to use a dinner party to experiment with a new dish.
- Plan your beverages. Plan and purchase your wine and spirits. Make sure you are offering non-alcoholic options to your guests also. Always serve water on the table.
- Prepare your shopping list. Plan your grocery list to the last detail. You don’t want to have to run out at the last minute for something you have forgotten.
- Set your table. Set your table a few days before your party if at all possible. This will give you a chance to inspect your dinnerware incase your favorite platter has been misplaced, or you are one soup bowl short. Decide on your guests’ seating and add place cards at this time. Your guests will appreciate knowing where they are to sit, and you will be able to be in the kitchen dealing with last minute preparations.
- Begin to prepare your food. Early in the day, or the day before, begin your food preparations.
- Welcome your guests. Make sure that you have time to welcome and greet your guests, have a spouse or close friend offer them drinks, as you then take care of final preparations.
- Serve dinner and enjoy! Serve your dinner and enjoy the good food and the good conversation, which is the purpose of your dinner party.
- Don’t apologize. Your guests will know if the beef is too well done, or the salad is too wet, don’t apologize for it, that will only make your guests uncomfortable.
- Don’t let your guests help wash the dishes. It is kind of them to offer, but clear the dishes to the kitchen, and return to the table to enjoy the end of your evening with your guests.
Do you have a favorite tip to share about hosting a dinner party? I would love to hear from you and share your tips with my other readers.