Today's feature is from The Weekend Gourmet's correspondent. The holiday season is approaching, which means more entertaining! This feature shares some excellent tips to make your next dinner party a smashing success!
Dinner parties can be a classy, grown-up way of getting together with friends and catching up just like old times. Dinner parties are great, because they take place in the comfort of your homes -- instead of going out somewhere and spending a ton of cash! Going out to a restaurant or bar can be great for an event or special occasion, but if you simply want to get everyone together without a lot of stress, throwing a dinner party is an ideal solution. Here are a few dinner party ideas to create a memorable night:
Have a Clear Arrival Destination To allow the smoothest entry for your guests, you should set up a clear arrival destination. Arrange a cart or small table with drinks, glassware, and accessories like bottle openers. This means guests won’t have to hunt for a beverage...and they’ll likely feel at home right away. Make sure there’s space for mixing drinks too. Ideally, you’ll have a mixture of drinks to suit every invited guest. Provide a few ingredients guests can use to make cocktails -- as well as standard spirits, mixers, and wine. You can research handy wine facts to determine what you need. It’s also a good idea to have non-alcoholic beverages on the cart too.
Prepare for Socializing Even if the drink cart is a huge hit, guests will still want to hang out where the action is -- and that usually means where you are preparing the food! If you have the space, try to reserve the far end of your working space and place some snacks and appetizers there. This way, your guests will automatically understand they can linger there without getting in your way. It’s like an unspoken sign! picture
Don’t Let Everyone Know How Stressed You Are
If you talk about how stressed you are and rush around like a whirlwind, your guests may regret coming to your dinner party. They’ll feel your stress with every bite...so don’t be that person. The last thing you want while everybody is enjoying your new pasta dish, is for stress to emanate off the table.
Create a Scenic Landscape
You should set the scene of your dinner party to get your guests excited for what’s to come. Remember: we eat with our minds just as much as our mouths! Make sure you have a nice tablecloth and cutlery, as well as colorful/festive plates and dishes to help create the atmosphere you want. You can even use place cards to give your dinner table a fancier feel.
Stay Present If you want your dinner party to be a memorable night for everybody -- including yourself -- be sure to stay present in everything. Don’t rush off from the dinner table for too long when you can easily quickly grab something. You can also clear the table after dinner -- but wait to wash the dishes until after your guests leave. As soon as you start that huge chore, your guests will feel the atmosphere drop...and it may send a signal that the party's over.
How do YOU have a memorable night at your dinner parties? Leave me a comment below with your best at-home entertaining tips!