Do you love cooking? Do you love food? Do you have a great selection of homewares? Do you love hanging out with your friends and family? Why not host your first dinner party? Good food, good conversation, great drinks, and great company is all you need for a dinner party. A simple combination of ingredients for a great night.
Hosting your first dinner party signals a time when you’re finally becoming an adult. It could be you living out your favourite food dreams or having a celebration dinner. It could also be an opportunity for you to have a party, with you and your friends getting dressed up in your best attire and have a fancy night in.
Hosting can a dinner party can be an extremely stressful time. Whatever your reason is to hosting your first dinner party, here are eight great tips and tricks to making it a breeze! Hosting a dinner party doesn’t have to be a stressful time. These tips will help you achieve a flawless and fun dinner party. You’ll be known as the best host amongst your friends and everyone will be rushing to coming to your second dinner party.
1. Deciding – Who to Invite? What Date?
For your first dinner party, it is smart to not overstress yourself by inviting lots of guests. Remember, you must feed them all. As this is your first dinner party, you may not be used to cooking for a large number of people, so four to six guests is ideal. A dinner party is more intimate than a party with dancing. It is smart on your behalf to invite friends that know each other and if you want to invite others, add one or two. You just need to make sure you invite people when you know it won’t be awkward!
There are so many options to choose from when deciding when to host your dinner party – the start of the week, end of the week, late-night, early night. With saying this, Friday and Saturday nights are probably the best nights of the week. Everyone will have just finished work and won’t have to be cautious of work the next morning.
2. Be Strategic
What is the aim of this dinner party? Is it to show off or practice your cooking? Then the focus should be food. Is it more on a celebration or catching up with friends? Then smaller plate and bites may be the way to go. Obviously, you need to make sure you’ve tried to cook the recipes you want to make for the dinner party so there are no surprises. You don’t want to end up burning something or making something edible! If that happens, you might have to resort to ordering take away or sending your guests home hungry! A great idea is to think about meals where you can do preparation a day before or during the day. You will want to be able to talk to your guests during the night!
3. Be Prepared
Preparation is important – food preparation, house preparation, and mental preparation! Make sure you know what you are cooking, make an ingredients list and buy everything! You also need to make sure you clean your house before guests arrive. You don’t need to clean every room, but the ones that guests will see or use – the living room, kitchen, bathroom, dining room. Last but not least is the mental preparation – you’re most likely nervous, stressed or excited before your first dinner party. Whatever you are feeling, make sure you get on top of it by staying calm and relaxed.
4. Create the Mood
Add something extra to where you are going to have your dinner party. It is the perfect opportunity to make the atmosphere a bit moody, but welcoming and inviting! A few simple tricks make all the difference. Buy some fresh flowers, maybe some light-scented candles or even fairy lights! Another great way to create ambiance is through music. A playlist makes a great difference – choose the ‘Dinner Party Playlist’ or create your own.
5. Drinks Galore
You don’t want to be treating your guests to only water and milk (if you have milk!). By providing drinks, it gives you the perfect opportunity to learn how to pair wine with food (if you have ever been interested in that). Make sure you have wine, beer, cider – but there is no need to break the bank on drinks. If your guests want to bring something – a great option is to say ‘alcohol’. They will most often pick something they like so you won’t have to stress about it! You need to make sure you also have drink options for those who don’t drink. Create a mocktail or have some soft drinks on hand.
6. Plan the Menu
As this list has mentioned – it is important to be prepared and organised for your first dinner party. Cook food you know and recipes you’re tried before. When you are planning the menu, it is important to consider the cooking options on when you need to start cooking, things you can prepare beforehand and things you need to cook whilst the dinner party is happening! When planning the menu – it is important to also consider what is in season! If you’re planning a summer dinner party – incorporate berries into your dessert. If you’re planning an autumn dinner party – use squash and sweet potato in your entrée or main!
7. Dietary Requirements
You would obviously want your guests to eat all the food you cook, especially if you are having a dinner party of four to six people. When you are deciding to cook a meal, make sure you know the food preferences of your guests. Are they vegetarian? Vegan? Are they allergic to nuts? Egg? If you don’t ask these questions and your guests are your friends – to be honest, you won’t be looking like a great friend!
8. Be a Good Host
Most importantly, it is your first dinner party so it is important to be a good host. If you aren’t a good host, no one will want to come to your next dinner party! A great way to be a good host includes getting people to introduce them if they don’t know each other, create place cards so there isn’t that awkward standing when people are deciding where to sit, collect guests coats when they walk in and make sure to offer drinks or show guests where the drink station is!