A dinner party is a great idea for any kind of celebration. You can host a dinner party for your birthday, for a festive occasion, housewarming, or even if you just want to spend some time with your friends and family. If you are not sure about hiring caterers or making a reservation at a posh restaurant, do not worry. You can cook a few meals, store them in sets of casseroles, and have an amazing dinner party at home. Read on to find out how you can host the best at-home dinner party.
Top 10 Tips to Host a Great Dinner Party at Home
Dinner parties can be lovely. Even if it is your first time hosting, you can do it without any glitches. Take a look at the following tips to throw a dinner party that is fun and does not leave you completely exhausted.
1. Choose Easy and Seasonal Recipes to Cook
When you are planning a menu for your dinner party, resist the urge to cool fancy dishes. You will have a lot of things to do on the day of the party. So it is best to stick to simple and delicious dishes that will not take too long. Use seasonal ingredients as they will make the dishes even tastier. You can even make a hotpot and keep it in a casserole. It will not take a lot of time and will be packed with flavour. The casserole will also keep the meal warm for some time.
2. Ask Your Guests about Dietary Restrictions
Once you have finalised your guest list, ask them about their dietary restrictions. Pay attention to what your guests can and cannot eat. List out the ingredients that your guests might be allergic to and leave them out of your meal planning. If you end up using even one ingredient that a guest is allergic to, it might be very dangerous. Therefore, find out about all the restrictions they have and prepare the meals accordingly.
3. Fix a Timeline for the Party
Let your guests know exactly when the party starts. Give them a specific time. This will help you to organise all other events and no one will be late. Once you decide how long the dinner party will last, you can include a cocktail hour, time for starters, and even some games before everybody sits down to eat. A proper timeline will also be a good thing for parents who have to get their kids in bed at a reasonable hour.
4. Plan a Drinks Menu
Make sure to have plenty of options for drinks. You can include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Keep the drinks on ice so that you can serve them cold. If you are hosting a dinner party during autumn or winter, do not forget to include some warm drinks like hot chocolate, pumpkin spice latte, apple cider, mulled wine, or even eggnog. After deciding what should be on the drinks menu, prepare some snacks to complement them.
5. Put an Apron On
This might seem like a very simple thing but it is one of the crucial things that need to be done. For all those last-minute dishes that you have to garnish or sauces that need stirring, you must wear an apron. You can get dressed up and then go about putting the finishing touches on the dishes you have prepared. An apron will make sure that your party dress stays safe from any accidental splashes or stains.
6. Prepare Dishes in Advance
Begin cooking your dishes as early as you can so that they can be ready or at least halfway through by the time your guests start to arrive. If you are planning to make fried food for snacks or starters, prep the ingredients so that you can throw them in the oil as soon as your guests arrive. You can place the main courses in a hot case or a hot box. The meals will stay warm and you can go about doing other chores. You can even prepare all desserts the day before, especially if they are to be served cold.
7. Keep the Kitchen Clean
A clean kitchen will allow you to stay stress-free. Have a plan in place and stick to it. Do not let your kitchen counter become too cluttered. If possible, pack the ingredients for each dish in separate kitchen storage containers. Take out only the containers you need for the dish that you are cooking. This will help you to keep your kitchen tidy. Before you start cooking, check if all the utensils, cutting boards, and even the ovens are clean. Wash everything and then start bringing out the ingredients and cooking.
8. Set the Table
Your table should be set before any of the guests start arriving. If you do not have too much space on your dining table, you can arrange a buffet. Place all the dishes on the table and provide serving plates and spoons. Stack plates, napkins and provide enough spoons and forks. Now if you can seat all the guests at the table, arrange each seat separately. You can also provide place cards.
9. Create a Warm Ambience
Decide on an aesthetic for your dinner party. At-home dinner parties are usually warm and cozy. You can decorate your home with candles, flowers and use bring table napkins. To create a warm ambience, go for a mix of earth and jewel tones when you pick the colours. You can place vases, wreaths, and even mason jars on the dining table, as long as you do not overcrowd it.
10. Do Not Stay in the Kitchen for Too Long
A dinner party is meant for bonding with people. So do not spend too much time in the kitchen after your guests arrive. Finish as much as you can and only go into the kitchen to check on the food or to bring out the dishes. You should spend more time mingling with your guests and having fun.
A perfect dinner party is simple and full of good food and laughter. To make sure that you do not get stressed while planning the party, use the tips, and create a checklist of all the things you have to do. Your at-home dinner party is bound to be a success.