Dinner parties can cover a broad range of styles, sizes, contexts and atmospheres, but the key to their success is often the same thing – great food and great company. Below are five tips to ensure your dinner party delivers just that – and a little bit more – for a hugely successful evening.
1. Buy Multipurpose Equipment
To ensure dinner party success, many people believe you need to have every form of cooking equipment at the ready to impress your guests. However, there are many singular products out there that cater to a bit of everything. Checking out a superstore such as Barbeques Galore is a great place to start as you will get to explore a diverse range of equipment from several high-quality brands, including Ziegler & Brown– perfect for outdoor dinner parties in particular.
2. Write Lists
Try having lists for each component of your dinner party, including decorations, food, drinks, music and games. Check each item off as you go. There is no detail too small for the list, as not only are they written instructions on what to buy, they are also useful reminders of what still needs to be organised (e.g. getting the carpet cleaned or moving the dining table to a larger location in your house).
3. Limit Your Workload
By doing as much as possible ahead of time, you are immediately creating less stress for yourself on the night of the party. Set up the decorations and table layout the day before, purchase all food and drinks a couple of days earlier, leaving just the fresh meat/vegetables to the morning of the party. Also, have all your meal preparation done before any of your guests arrive, as slicing and dicing is a huge time waster once the party has started.
4. Stick to What You Know
If you are feeling brave and want to try a new recipe, make sure you have a couple of practice runs before the big night. There is nothing worse than serving up a poor meal all because you were trying too hard to impress. Also, stick to something easy that is full of flavour, rather than something detail-heavy that is going to keep you away from the party. And go for food with a bit of variety that people can serve up themselves (e.g. Mexican, barbequed meat, or a stir-fry).
5. Make It Unique
What is it about your dinner party that is going to make it stand out? Try including games or trivia that can be discussed or played at the table in between eating. Party hats or poppers are also a fun touch and will get everyone in the celebration spirit. And if you really want to make an impression, why not have the whole night set to a certain theme, such as Hollywood or the 1920s?
There can be a lot of pressure around dinner parties and really hitting the mark when it comes to impressing your guests. Take the time in your preparation stage to make such you have every detail covered, then just sit back and relax on the day. The more relaxed you are, the more your guests will settle into the night and enjoy themselves too.
What have been some of your biggest dinner party hits and misses? Tell your story in the comments below.