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How to Throw an Autumn Dinner Party

We’re almost half way through September now (where has the time gone?!) so we think it’s high time to get excited about autumn. This is one of our favourite times of year. Think crisp sunshine, falling leaves and cosy comfort food - perfect!

It’s also the perfect time of year to gather together some friends for an autumn dinner party. Brighten up the dark, chilly evenings by hosting a feast for your friends. If you fancy throwing your own autumn dinner party this year, here are a few of our top tips and ideas to get you started.

Autumn dinner party menus

As we wave goodbye to the salads and barbecues of summer, it’s time to welcome back some of our favourite seasonal autumn comfort food. Check what’s in season where you live and make the most of your local produce. Autumn flavours lend themselves well to rich, hearty dishes - this is perfect for a relaxed dinner party where you can create a sharing, feasting-style menu.

Here are a few of our favourite autumn dinner party recipe ideas, most of which can be made in big batches and served up family-style, leaving you more time to socialise with your guests.

  • Butternut squash and sage risotto
  • Chestnut salad with apple and serrano ham
  • Spiced chickpea and tomato soup with herbed croutons
  • Venison ragu with tagliatelle and garlic herb flatbread
  • Pancetta-wrapped pork roast with honey glazed parsnips and seasonal greens
  • Roast rack of venison with cherry and clementine crumb
  • Pear and blackberry crumbles with homemade custard
  • Hazelnut and chocolate tarts
  • Spiced apple cake

Autumn dinner party drinks

Why not choose some autumnal drinks to compliment your seasonal menu? In addition to your favourite wines to accompany the main meal, create one or two simple cocktails to serve to guests as they arrive.

Pears are at their best during autumn, so opt for a refreshing pear-based cocktail to begin the evening. Try a pear and elderflower fizz with pear vodka, elderflower liqueur, pear puree and prosecco.

After dinner, opt for something a bit richer and more warming to keep your guests cosy as night falls. We love a “Rustic Manhattan” - made in the same way as a traditional Manhattan, but with apple whiskey and raspberry vermouth.

Autumn dinner party decor

The great thing about hosting your own dinner party is being able to choose just how you want it to feel and look. Note down the basics (how many guests, where you’ll be hosting it, whether it’s going to be formal or casual etc) and then start planning the rest from there.

Choose whether your want to have an autumn theme for your decor, or just add subtle cosy touches to make the most of the season. Rich colours, natural wood, autumn foliage and plenty of candles work really well when it comes to autumn dinner party decor. Give everything a “hygge” feel with dim lighting, comfy blankets and cushions everywhere and simple, rustic table settings.

Don’t forget to create some gorgeous place settings for your autumn dinner party. Include things like decorative gold or copper plates, jewel-coloured glassware, rustic hessian napkin holders and name cards or menus written in calligraphy on brown paper.

Need help organising your own autumn dinner party? Check out our Events Catering page for more details about our services in Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Surrey and South London: bearclawcatering.co.uk/catering

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