You’ve invited a few specially selected guests around, and you plan to produce for them some of your finest cooking to prove what an impeccable host you really are.
It’s around about now the panic starts to set in.
Fear not; there are a few rules you can follow to help you achieve that perfect evening of fine food, scintillating conversation, and pleasant surroundings.
So if you’re planning on having guests over for dinner, read on and prepare for the most perfect dinner party.
Setting the scene
A beautifully laid table will create the perfect first impression. It doesn’t need to be big-budget, some crisp table linens, a central floral display, simple crockery, and elegant stainless steel cutlery will add the right level of unassuming sophistication.
Lincoln House Cutlery and Silverware have a range ofstainless steel cutlery which is both attractive and budget-friendly.
Low maintenance food
The last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen all evening, so to make sure you have plenty of time to spend with your guests,choose food you can prepare beforehand or will largely take care of itself.
A cold starter that you can make up ahead of time, or a soup that just requires reheating, means that you are present at the start of the meal.
Consider something baked for the main course, so you’ll only need to disappear for plating everything up.
The same applies to desserts. Something you can serve straight from the fridge or that can be warmed in the oven for a few minutes is ideal. For more informal gatherings, you could even serve the dish straight to the table and let guests dig in.
To really demonstrate you have considered every tiny detail, make sure you provide a welcoming drink such as a mojito or similar refreshing cocktail. It also helps to avoid that uncomfortable first few minutes where guests might be unsure how to get the conversation started.
To show off your wine credentials, choose a different bottle to match each course, including offering a dessert wine. Another great way to encourage conversation is to discuswhat wines guests enjoy, how the flavourscompliment each other, and even if anyone has visited the countries and regions the wine was made in.
Finally, have after-dinner tipples available,too,such as whiskey, brandy, or liqueurs, as well as a good coffee.
Conversations to avoid
What makes a dinner party a complete success is an interesting conversation and plenty of laughter.
To avoid disagreements or hostility between guests, try to steer the conversation away from politics or other contentious subjects.
To keep the mood lighthearted, talk about the food, the last book you read, or your favourite holiday destination. To avoid lulls in chitchat, introduce guests with an interesting fact about themselves, such as where they work, the rare pets they own, or an interesting hobby they have a passion for.
Keep entertainment subtle; you don’t need a sideshow.
Opt for pleasant background music as a minimum and consider some laid-back round-the-table games which promote joviality and conversation.
You could also offer an opportunity for guest to create their own cocktails or desserts, which takes some work from you and adds a fun task to keep guests entertained.
Follow these simple steps, and your dinner party should not only go without a hitch but, you never know, it might even be considered a roaring success.