Hosting a dinner party means that you’re responsible for everyone having a good time. Some may see that as a lot of pressure whereas others will revel in the adrenaline surge. Being the perfect host means you have to be at the top of your game but, with a few tips, anyone can throw a successful dinner party. Here are some pointers:
Always set the table well in advance of your guests’ arrival. This will give you time to think about which utensils you need and what kind of ambience you want to create. For example, if you are planning on serving soup and salad, be sure to include a soup spoon and salad fork.
Dinner sets, namely the plates, bowls and serving dishes, and the table centerpiece will provide a signal as to how formal your party is going to be. To avoid any awkwardness on the night, be sure to inform your guests well in advance as to how formal an occasion it is so they can dress appropriately. Your role as host is, above all, to make everyone feel comfortable and at home.
Ask your guests in advance if they have any special dietary requirements, such as vegetarianism, and create your menu accordingly. Make sure you craft a menu that allows you to do the majority of the cooking before your guests arrive. Remember, they are coming to see you, not just to eat your food, so you won’t want to be stuck in the kitchen all night. Finally, consider serving spicy sauces and cheeses on the side, in case someone doesn’t care for hot foods or is lactose intolerant.
Choose a wine, or wines, that go well with the food you are serving. For example, red wine with steak or white wine with fish. When making the sauce to accompany your protein, consider using the same wine you’ll be serving as a drink. This will help create an overall harmony within the meal.
Don’t forget to buy a non-alcoholic wine or other soft drink option in case your guests don’t feel like drinking alcohol. It’s always better to have more options, even if they aren’t consumed on the night, than to make one of your guests feel put on the spot to drink something they don’t care for.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, being the perfect host means being nothing but hospitable from the second your first guest steps through the door. Greet each of your guests personally, take their coat, offer them a drink and consider having some nibbles out for them to snack on. Be sure to introduce your guests to each other if they haven’t met before and start a conversation amongst them before tending to other duties.
So, with these tricks up your sleeve, hosting a dinner party will be nothing but fun for you and your guests!
~Guest Post written by Keisha Dickey