Thinking of throwing your first dinner party but don’t know where to start? It can be a daunting thought, but there’s no need to be scared. With just a little bit of forward planning, your dinner party will be wonderfully organised, unbelievably tasty and the perfect way to catch up with friends and family! Here are our top five tips for throwing a successful dinner party.
1. Plan in Advance
Even if it’s just a casual dinner party with your close friends, it’s still a good idea to do a bit of planning in advance. Make sure you know who’s coming and that you’ve got enough room for them all at the table. Check if anyone has any dietary requirements so you can plan the menu, and write a shopping list in advance so you don’t get caught out when it comes to cooking the meal. Depending on the type of food you’re making, you might also want to create a rough schedule so you know when to put things in the oven – nothing worse than having your guests wait 2 hours between the starter and the main course!
2. Keep it Simple
Don’t be tempted to try out a brand new dish for the first time – it might end up being a total disaster and your guests will have nothing to eat. Instead, keep the menu simple yet tasty with some of your favourite, fail-safe dishes on it. If you want to try something a little bit more exotic than your usual weeknight dinners, be sure to give it a practice run the weekend before so you can perfect the recipe without the pressure of having guests in the next room.
3. Do some Prep Work
Check if there’s anything, such as desserts, which can be made the night before and left in the fridge. Chop any vegetables and prepare things like soups and sauces before your guests arrive. Having the prep work done in advance will leave you more time to spend with your guests, so you only need to pop into the kitchen at the last minute to finish the cooking and put everything together.
4. Keep the Drinks Flowing
Whilst you’re busy concentrating on the food, your guests will be enjoying a glass or two of wine. Make sure you’ve stocked up on plenty of drinks so you don’t run out half way through the night. Don’t forget non-alcoholic options and try to provide an alternative (such as beer or cider) if you have any guests who don’t like wine.
5. Ask for Help
If the thought of throwing a dinner party is still a bit overwhelming, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether that’s phoning up your mum for her secret apple crumble recipe, asking your best friend to come round early to help you chop carrots, or hiring some professionals to cook the meal for you, there are plenty of options. Check out our dinner party catering page to find out more about hiring a private chef for your own dinner party – you can enjoy the comfort of a dinner party in your own home without having to worry about cooking the gourmet food yourself!
Have you ever thrown a dinner party before? Let us know what your top tips would be.