One of the fun parts of being an adult, is you never need a reason to throw a fun dinner party, or is that just me? lol. A dinner party is the perfect excuse to have your friends over for good food, lots of drinking, laughter, and conversations on the stuff that matters- like Beyoncé and rosé. For a smooth, unproblematic evening, here are a few tips to throwing the perfect dinner party.
Send out clear invitations.
I know, I know, who still sends our invites. Well, that’s the beauty of the electronic age, there’s no need to write them out by hand and post them; you can invite people by text or email. Specify a day and date. A vague statement, such as next Wednesday or the Friday after next, could be confusing. Include an RSVP so you’ll be certain everyone has received and read their invitation. This way you know how many people are actually coming and how much food and drinks to have (tip: you can never have too much drinks). Also! ask about special diets in your invite. There’s no point going HAM on a meat dish (pun intended), when you have solely vegetarians coming.
Put some effort into presentation.
It’s said that people eat with their eyes, so food presentation is an important factor in a successful dinner party. Decorate your table, even if you’re having a buffet. Use your best dinnerware set, polish cutlery and glasses, and provide napkins and placemats. Flowers or candles make for a perfect centerpiece for your table.
Aim to be a great host, but you can’t kill yourself please.
Don’t overthink it and don’t try to do it all. Outsource whatever you need to. For small groups, you’ll probably be able to cope with meal preparation, but don’t try to cater for a large group all on your own. If you’re catering for many guests, don’t be afraid to buy in some pre-prepared food, or perhaps ask guests to bring a dish with them. You could provide a main course, for instance, and guests bring starters and desserts. If you opt for this, it’s worth setting a theme, say Moroccan or Italian, so all dishes complement each other.
Keep your menu simple.
This one is for the faux-adventurers like myself. I know how to cook a handful of dishes but sometimes the spirit moves me to experiment. Be careful girl, this is a dangerous path. Don’t be tempted to try out new recipes; there’s too much risk of disaster. Instead, prepare simple but tasty dishes that you’ve made successfully before. Meals that can be made in advance and won’t be ruined by rewarming are a good idea.
DRINKS! DRINKS! DRINKS!
Do not skimp on drinks. Can you imagine sitting your ass in front of some boring person and having to listen to them dredge on SOBER?!! Whew, not I. Offer red wine, and both sweet and dry white wines, properly chilled. If you’re celebrating, a bottle or two of something sparkling always goes down well too. Don’t forget to cater for guests who prefer beer, and for those who don’t drink or are driving. Offer one or two soft drinks options for the non-drinkers, and always provide jugs of water on the table. If you’re not sure what to buy, it’s quite acceptable to ask guests to bring a bottle of what they like, so be sure to put a request on the invitation. To complete your evening, serve coffee after dinner, or if you’re feeling extra generous, liqueurs.
At the end of the day, dinner parties are supposed to be enjoyable (aka LIT), so don’t ruin your soiree by making avoidable mistakes, such as serving meat to a vegetarian or running out of wine. Follow these simple tips to make your dinner party an event to remember and invite me dammit!