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How to Host the Best Dinner Party

Updated on September 12, 2019
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Christine, wife, mother, homemaker for over 40 years, has an NVQ3 in Childcare & Education, a diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition and TEFL.


Easy Dinner Party Ideas

Does the idea of planning a dinner party, involving home cooking fill you with dread? It needn't be a difficult experience. With the right planning and mindset you can enjoy the company of your family and friends at the same time as preparing a delicious meal that won't leave you too stressed or tired to enjoy the company. People have been doing this for centuries. It's something that brings us together and something that we can all participate in, after all, we all need to eat. Many a proposal has been made over a lovely dinner and many a family has been brought together to catch up and enjoy each other, when life can otherwise pass us by.

Home Cooked Food

Although it can be done by employing outside caterers, there is nothing quite like home cooked food and the personal touch. The smell of home cooking as your guests arrive at the door will be sure to grab their attention and appetite. Let me help you with some great party ideas and resources here at your fingertips, that you need to provide an amazing evening that doesn't have to be perfect, but will speak of love and sharing by the effort and enthusiasm that you give.

Whether it's a social get-together or a business dinner, spending time with other people in this way is important and life-giving. Understanding a little about providing a well-balanced meal and creating a peaceful environment will go a long way to ensuring that your dinner party is the "talk of the town!"

Who Would Be The Home Cook For Your Dinner Party? - If you could hire them......

Which chef would you hire if you could?

See results

Planning Your Dinner Party Menu

Plan this a few days before

The Shopping List

Buy the ingredients in advance, at your convenience. Try to avoid having to use precious time in rushing off to the shops at the last minute. If you can't think immediately what you want to make, spend a little time looking through cookery books and getting inspired. Have a pen and paper at hand to write down your ideas and a separate piece of paper to write your shopping list.

How many courses?

The less you have to do at the last minute, the better you will feel and you will have more time to get yourself ready before your guests arrive. Such a meal is supposed to be a time to relax and not feel rushed. It is a good idea to make a cold dessert that can be made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. The main course might lend itself to cooking slowly in a slow-cooker. This means that you will be able to prepare it in the morning. A first course could be something made from natural ingredients that only need assembling at the last minute. Make sure that the courses are well balanced. If the main course includes a lot of carbohydrates such as wheat or potatoes, provide a light dessert, such as a souffle, sorbet or fresh fruit salad. You won't want your guests too full before you bring in the next course. The first course should also be light, so that it just awakens their appetite, rather than filling them up. If you decide to serve several courses, keep the portions small.

A Dinner Party Menu Suggestion

1st course: Sliced Melon, decorated with glace cherries and served with ground ginger.

2nd course: Beef Stroganoff, cooked in the slow cooker and served with Duchess Potatoes and freshly cooked vegetables in season or a green salad.

3rd course: Citrus Cheesecake, chilled in fridge

finish with fresh coffee and mint chocolates

Bon Appetit!

The Dinner Party Invitation

An Important First Step

Who you invite to your dinner party is important. Don't get hung up on worrying about who you won't invite, but enjoy the process of including your friends or family whom you want to be there. Give some thought to including people who might get on together and will enjoy the occasion with you. Maybe someone has contributed to you getting to this place of wanting to celebrate. They could be a good person to invite as a way of saying "thank you."

Make the invitation clear

Remember to include the date, time, venue and if it is a particular celebration. Let them know if they are invited for a meal.

Think about how many people you can comfortably seat and don't be tempted to cram too many people in, unless the number of people is more important to you than the ability to comfortably sit around the one table. If this is the case, you might want to spread out onto another table. Think about whether the gathering is intended to be cosy and intimate or informative and more business-like and- remember to check for any dietary needs.

The Dinner Party Invitation- You are invited!

Bob and Charlene would like to invite you to "our place", for a meal to celebrate Charlene's birthday.

On Friday 23rd November

At 8pm

We hope you can make it and look forward to hearing from you soon.


Get Creative Setting The Table for Your Dinner Party - the welcoming touch...

Make your guests feel welcome by setting an attractive, coordinated table ready for when they arrive. Prepare it in advance and close the door to the family until it is time for your dinner party to begin. Choose a cloth and napkins to match the dinner service and add some candles. A low flower arrangement can make an attractive centre piece and you can add balloons or Christmas crackers depending on the occasion. Make the most of natural products in season to add decoration. However, take care not to overload the table, leaving room for the food and making sure that guests can reach across without incurring embarrassing accidents. Lastly place enough serving utensils for each course.

Learn to fold serviettes in an attractive manner

Soft Dinner Party Music

To set the mood...

Obviously it depends what type of dinner party you are hosting as to what type of music you will want to listen to. Whatever your choice, it needs to be soft enough that it can be played as background music whilst people talk, preferably without vocals so that your guests are not straining to hear the words of the dinner music instead of hearing the conversation. The music will set the atmosphere so choose something that creates a relaxing and peaceful environment to enhance the appetite. You don't want anyone getting indigestion through rushing their meal along with an upbeat tune! Begin playing it before they arrive to help you to relax and unwind.The video below displays a burning log fire, for an extra touch.

Smooth Jazz Music for Dinner

Guten Appetit- or Bon Appetit!

A Smart Apron For The Home Cook

Give your guests a bit of home cooking and wear this apron with pride The perfect cover up for the cook who doubts their ability, yet is ready nonetheless to try out their culinary skills! Where home cooked food tastes best!
Give your guests a bit of home cooking and wear this apron with pride The perfect cover up for the cook who doubts their ability, yet is ready nonetheless to try out their culinary skills! Where home cooked food tastes best! | Source

© 2010 Christine Hulme


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