26 Feb 2017
Dinner parties can be great, but they can also be a recipe for stress. If the thought of hosting a dinner party has you breaking out in a sweat, there are a few things you can do to keep things as fuss-free as possible for a successful evening.
Prepare in Advance
Don’t leave everything for the day of your dinner party. If you make sure you’ve done the grocery shopping, cleaned the wine glasses, set the table and arranged the furniture in the days leading up to the event, you’ll find yourself with much less to do in the hours before everyone arrives. The more you can do before the big day, the calmer you’ll likely feel, which will mean you can actually enjoy the bits and bobs you still have left to do before the doorbell rings.
Cook What You Know
Nervous about whether or not your guests will approve of your skills in the kitchen? Now is not the time to take a risk and experiment with a fancy new recipe. If you really want to impress your guests, you should stick to dishes you’ve nailed time and time again. Simple dishes done right are always better than elaborate dishes gone wrong!
Have your heart set on something a little different? That’s fine, just make sure you practise it a few times before the big night.
Ask Guests to Pitch In
If you’re feeling a little in over your head with plans for appetisers, entrees, mains and desserts, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Whether you assign desserts to one guest and leave another in charge of the side dishes, or you simply need a couple more hands in the kitchen before everyone arrives, there’s no shame in asking guests to pitch in.
Create a Self-Serve Bar
You can still be a great host without hovering over your guests to fill their glasses every 5 minutes. Setting up a self-serve bar with all the essentials (water, beer, wine, spirits, bottle-opener, glassware and ice) will leave you with one less thing to worry about throughout the night. Don’t forget the tea and coffee station for after dinner.
Clean As You Go
A dinner party is just as much about the atmosphere as it is about the food, and no one likes to eat while sitting across from a pile of dirty dishes.
Cleaning as you go ensures you can relax and enjoy your meal without the dishes glaring at you with every bite. You’ll also be able to slide into bed without having to sweat over the kitchen sink or dishwasher once your guests have left.
If you’re stressed out and obsessing over every little detail, your guests will pick up on it. Dinner parties are all about sharing good food with great company. Don’t get too caught up in making things perfect – enjoy yourself and your guests will, too!
Are you planning to host a dinner party in the near future? Find out what kind of dinner party host you are with our fun quiz!