I always get excited when I have the opportunity to host a dinner party, but then I usually get a bit panicky when I remember the sheer amount of work that went into organising the last one!
So, if you are anything like me, this blog is for you! I hope it helps you to plan your next dinner party and the whole event is a big success!
Choose your menu carefully
As tempting as it sounds, I would always advise choosing dishes that you’ve made before, rather than choosing new or elaborate recipes with lots of complicated ingredients.
You are more likely to impress your friends with your favourite recipe that’s well prepared rather than an extravagant dish that ends up undercooked or burned because you’ve never made it before. Remember, your friends will appreciate the fact that you are cooking for them, no matter how simple the food is. If you are not sure about your cooking skills, or short of time, you can always invite catering professionals, like Zebra Tasty Hong Kong to help you.
Be mindful of your guest’s dietary requirements
If you want to be a considered hostess, think about your guest’s dietary requirements, especially if your guests have any food allergies or other dietary requirements. There is nothing worse than serving your favourite meat dish to a guest who is vegetarian.
Think about the dining room setting
A perfect dinner party is not just about the food. It’s also about the room setting and the atmosphere. Make sure that you choose a coordinating dinnerware, cutlery, glasses, table cloth and fabric napkins. Check, that you have enough ambient lighting. You want to make sure that your guests can easily see what they are eating, but equally, the light doesn’t need to be too bright. Use unscented candles around the room, but I’d be careful placing them on the table, to avoid any mishaps when serving your food. Buy fresh flowers to display in the room or entrance hall and play soft music in the background.
Decide on the guest’s group size
Deciding on how many guests to invite is also very important. Firstly, you need to make sure that you have enough comfortable space for people to sit around your dinner table. And secondly, the number of your guests will be reflected in your dinner party budget, especially when buying your ingredients and drinks. If this is your first dinner party, be easy on yourself and perhaps invite just four friends, even if you have space for more. Cooking for a large group of people is always more complicated than cooking for your family and there are more aspects of food preparation that could go wrong.
Prepare everything you can in advance
To make sure that you don’t spend more time in the kitchen than with your guests, prepare everything you can in advance. Choose dishes that you can make the day before (for example beef stew), leaving you to finish the side dishes on the day. If you are baking bread rolls with your starter, bake them few days before the party and freeze them. As your guests are arriving, defrost them and pop them in the oven for 180C to warm up. The smell of freshly baked bread will waft through the house, and your guests will think you are the best hostess ever!