6 steps for hosting a successful dinner party

It’s time for your next dinner part, and you want this one to be a success. But what is the best way to go about this? Below are six simple steps that will help you create, host and pull off a dinner party for your guests with ease, and that will leave people asking when your next one is.

Dietary Requirements: BBC Good Food suggests making the effort to ask your guests about any dietary requirements. Once you know if there are any allergies or specific diets to cater for, you can endeavour to create two suitable dishes for everyone. Not only will this cater to everyone, but will save time and money, and ensure everyone feels welcome at your party.

The important thing to remember here is that everyone will have things they like and don’t like, and some people will have allergies, or be vegetarian or vegan. There are many options here, from attempting to cater to everyone with a couple of dishes to asking people to bring something they will be able to eat to help everyone out. That way, with any luck, there will be at least one thing for everyone to eat when you cater to as many needs as possible.

Drinks: This might seem like an obvious one. Drinks can form an important part of a dinner party, and whilst many people will B.Y.O something, having a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in your fridge ready to go will help get things started. Grays Online has a selection of wine, whisky, beer and several other options to get you started. You could even go one step further and ask your guests what they prefer, and ensure you have some of each on hand.

A key thing to remember is that not everyone will drink alcoholic beverages. Having options for them as well as what they might bring for themselves says that you care about the needs and choices of your guests, much like finding a way to have dishes everyone will eat. Your friends will come back because you made the effort to include them.

Prepare in Advance: An article in Vogue says that preparing everything in advance is key to success, as does BBC Good Food. Planning your menu, cooking times and set-up is crucial, as whilst you might be hosting, you still want to enjoy the party with your guests, and socialise–after all, that is the point of a dinner party–to have fun with your friends and family, not to spend all night in the kitchen whilst everyone else catches up, chats and has fun.

Party Games: A dinner party can also include games. A fun way to include everyone is to instigate a game like Yahtzee, or contract points, either between dinner and dessert or to wind up the night. Trivia games are also a good addition, as you can chat whilst playing, play as teams or play as individuals based on the number of guests. Cosmopolitan also has a great list of games that you could play at your next dinner party.

Table: Matt Preston says that your table should be casual with minimal fuss. It is, after all, your home, not Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. It should be tidy and suit the style and theme of your dinner party, but don’t stress too much about it being perfect. Something Matt says can add sparkle to your table is lighting, and candles are a good way to set the mood of your dinner party. The only thing your guests will worry about is whether there is enough space, not how fancy your dinnerware is.

Relax: Finally, and probably the most important point that BBC Good Food gives in their article is to relax. RELAX! You’re there to have a good time with your friends and family. When everything else is ready, sit back, and have a good time. Remember to let everyone know when the next course is. Importantly, don’t let the small things get to you.

Follow these six steps and the other advice in the links, and you’ll have a successful dinner party that everyone will remember.

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