Dinner party hosting may appear stressful, but so rewarding. It won’t be as easy as the movies make it look, but it isn’t impossible either. Preparing early, having enough food, and playing good background music are just a few basics to note. To make it easy for you, we’ve categorised things to remember; preparation, seating and eating, and dessert and full stomachs.

  1. Preparation

Firstly, note the food considerations and dietary restrictions for your guests. Forgetting to cater for your guest’s gluten intolerance will create an unpleasant evening for them. Instead of worrying who will like what, prepare alternatives for your guests to choose from. Don’t base your start time on knowing exactly what you’ll make. This is not the time to try new recipes, mainly because you don’t know which way they’ll go. 

  1. Seating and eating

Make sure each guest has a place to sit, but also prepare for the unexpected. Allow your guests to seat themselves, unless you have more than 8, in which case, place cards are best. Take a seat and enjoy your dinner party because you are the reason that everyone has gathered here in the first place, so don’t neglect them. The meal options you have chosen should not require you to whip something up 20 minutes before its served, or else you’ll miss a meal. 

  1. Dessert and full stomachs

Dessert is the most important part of your dinner party because it signals the end of a great night. Your guests have been seated for well over an hour, so putting the dessert out away from the dinner table is a great way to break the formalities. If opting for this, stay away from desserts that could run off the plate at the slightest tilt, such as a baklava. Syrup all over your woollen sweater, anyone?

No matter how tired you are, or how overwhelmed you are by the mountain of dishes, never let your guests do your dishes. Do the dishes as soon as your visitors leave rather than waiting until the next morning. The future you will be thankful.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Errors and omissions excepted. (E&OE)

Top tips for hosting dinner parties
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