With the holiday season in full effect, everyone wants to know tips for a successful dinner party! It’s not hard at all to host an exceptional dinner party. If anything, very little work is involved because all guests want to do is eat, drink and laugh. However, if you’re throwing a dinner party and need some help, here are some tips for a successful dinner party.
Whether they be alcohol or not, having drinks at all time is one of the key tips for a successful dinner party. The best time to have drinks ready is a few moments after your guests arrive. Guests usually arrive hungry and sometimes from far away, so the first thing you can do to make them feel more comfortable is to serve them drinks while food is still being prepared.
Some hostesses like to do activities like wine or cheese tastings during their dinner parties. Sometimes when you’re a solo host, it’s hard to coordinate activities while preparing meals. However, even if you are hosting by yourself, try to find something for your guests to do... even if it’s dancing. Dancing doesn’t require a lot of supervision or structure so it’s easy for you to sneak off in to the kitchen while your guests are enjoying themselves.
The best thing you can do for your guests is be there with them! It will make them feel guilty, and maybe even abandoned, if your guests see you stressed out in the kitchen. Instead, try to prepare as much of your dinner beforehand as you can, so you can spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. Your guests will feel more at ease if the hostess is at ease.
For the time you do spend in the kitchen, you might have a few guests who would like to help you prepare your meal. As much as you might refuse, they will still find a way into the kitchen. With that being said, try to keep your kitchen as clean as possible so your guests aren’t worried about the conditions in which their food is being cooked and served to them. Again, controlling your kitchen has more to do with doing as much prep work as possible before guests arrive.
The only thing worse than a dirty kitchen is dirty plates and cutlery. It’s one thing to see a dirty kitchen because it’s hard to avoid a mess when cooking for a dinner party. But dirty dishes? They will immediately gross your guests out. One of the first things you should do when planning a dinner party is think about what plates and cutlery you’ll be using and give them a good wash and dry before presenting them to your guests.
The best part of dinner parties is the dessert! Don’t assume your guests will be “too full for dessert” and always make sure you have something to serve at the end of the meal. Even if you’re on a budget, biscuits and coffee or a homemade cake will suffice. However, it’s always nice to end the dinner on a sweet note.
The worst dinner parties are the parties that drag on way into the night. It’s true what they say, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” but make sure your guests are having genuine fun and aren’t just making small, awkward talk while looking at the clock. Even worse than a party that’s being dragged out? Having to wait in between each course. Make sure your food is being served on a tight schedule. The ideal dinner party lasts no longer than 3 hours in most cases, so all your drinks, appetizers (if applicable), entrees and desserts should be served in that time frame.
Dinner parties are meant to be fun and carefree, so don’t stress about the details. If you’re happy then your guests will be happy as well. The most important part of dinner parties, and the holidays in general, is to spend time with your loved ones, so don’t run back and forth between the kitchen. If you do need help just let your guests know and they’ll be more than happy to assist you. What are some of your tips for a successful dinner party?
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