5 Tips to Pulling Off a Flawless Dinner Party

photo by telegraph.co.uk

There’s nothing more uncomfortable for dinner party guests than a stressed out hostess. And we all know if the hostess isn’t having fun then no one will. Don’t let yourself make easily avoidable mistakes when throwing your next dinner party. Here are some tips to organizing and executing a wonderful, relaxing and fun dinner party.

1. Plan your menu out in advance. Make sure you think through all the dishes you’re planning on serving. Don’t wing it. Organize a menu that’s balanced. For example, if you plan on serving a “heavyish” meal, like steak or lamb, try balancing it with notes of brightness and light flavors, like a citrus salad.

2. Be realistic about what you can do in the time you have. Try to prepare as much as possible earlier in the day, so that you only have to finish off a few things in order to serve the meal. This will let you spend more time with your guests and less time bustling about the kitchen.

3. Serve appetizers. This might seem obvious, but give your guests something to eat upon their arrival! Serving appetizers on a tray will make it easy to move things around and replenish in the kitchen. It will also allow you to be a mobile host, working through the room and talking to all of your guests.

4. Know your guests. This is important. If you don’t know what all of your guests like to eat, play it safe. If they’re adventurous eaters you’ll learn that during a safe meal and keep it in mind for the future.  As a host you don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable by giving them something they don’t want to eat.

5. Set the mood for dinner, and be a guide. Create the atmosphere you have in mind with lights, decoration, and music, so that the guests will ease into a fun and relaxed mood as soon as they walk in the door. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to move to the table when dinner is ready, or to return to the living room after dinner for a drink. It’s your party and your place. Finally, have fun! That’s the whole idea, so don’t lose sight of it.<