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5 Tips to Host a Perfect Dinner Party

No dinner party is complete without a beautiful table setting and, of course, a warmth-inducing menu. In this post, I'm sharing my top 5 tips and tricks to achieve both, and ensure a seamless and stress-free evening. If you’re interested to learn more about dining and hosting etiquette, go check out my courses.

Table of Contents

No dinner party is complete without a beautiful table setting and, of course, a warmth-inducing menu. In this post, I’m sharing my top 5 tips and tricks to achieve both, and ensure a seamless and stress-free evening.  If you’re interested to learn more about dining and hosting etiquette, go check out my courses.

1. Table setting

Decide whether your meal will be formal or informal first. If it’s formal, keep it simple. Formal dining is all about quality over quantity. Start off with white table linen and napkins. I am also a big fan of cloth napkins. It feels more “special” and it’s also better for the environment. Lay down your silverware and plain plates. If it’s informal, be as creative as you and play with some colours. Finish your table by adding seasonal flowers and candles. White tapered candles are the safest option to add a bit of drama and elegant flair.

2. Choose a theme

When I organise an event, I stick to one topic or colour scheme. Deciding on a theme will help you stay focused and provide direction for your meals, drinks, or even music. Use seasonal items such as flowers, mini pumpkins for autumn, branches and Christmas decorations for the festive season, or colourful florals for easter.

3. Keep the menu simple

When it comes to what to serve, opt for sharing plates and salads that people can dig into as they please. Stick to dishes that you’ve made before and are not complicated to prepare. As fun as it can be to test out new recipes, doing so for a party can end up as a disaster. To minimise stress, opt for simple, familiar dishes that will please your guests.

# Tip

Not all of the dishes need to be homemade. Save time and effort by serving a charcuterie board or buy the dessert at a local bakery.

4. Finishing touches

To complete the look and feel of your dinner, use a handwritten menu, place cards, or themed napkin rings. Create your own playlist for a nice atmosphere. I also always advise putting your table together at least the day before your event. This allows you to arrange the table to your liking and do adjustments without the added pressure of guests coming over in a few hours.

5. Dress for the occasion

Finally, let’s talk about the dress code. As the host, opt for something practical but still chic. You will be the whole evening on your feet so make sure you wear something practical. Avoid wearing long loose sleeves, which could be obscuring when topping up glasses and collecting plates. 

In conclusion, hosting is all about making other people feel at ease. Go with what you’re comfortable with and the night will go smoothly. When the host is happy and relaxed, your guests will be happy too.

If you want more tips on how to make a great first impression, check out my classes. For more personalised help, I’m also available for 1-on-1 sessions.

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