IRL dinner parties have been off the table for ages. But as lockdown lifts, it’s time to rediscover the joy of entertaining your favourite people inside your home again. Hosting skills feeling rusty after months of sitting on the sofa in trackies? Here’s a refresher on organising a dinner party like a pro.
1. Get the guest list right
The most important ingredient for any dinner party? The guests. Numbers are important – for great conversation as well as respecting restrictions. The current ‘rule of six’ hits the sweet spot of keeping everyone safe while not being too overwhelming. Round tables are ideal for socially-distanced dining or try an extendable style for extra space between seats.
2. Create an Insta-worthy tablescape
Everyone’s keen for a change of scene, so go wild with your table setting. Make the ordinary more extra with a colourful tablecloth and gold cutlery. And try a striped cake stand or sculptural vase as an eye-catching centrepiece. Turn off the ceiling lights and use these twisted candles plus floor lamps for the ultimate dinner party aesthetic.
3. Swerve sharing platters
In this brave new world of social gatherings, no one’s ready for finger foods and sharing dips just yet. So serve up individual portions on statement plates instead. While it might be tempting to cook something extravagant, food that requires minimal preparation (and doesn’t keep you away from your guests) is best. The most basic pasta dish will look like a work of art served in this hand-painted bowl, promise.
4. Mix your drinks...
...that is, offer a selection of drinks with and without alcohol, and aim for the latter to taste amazing, but not overly strong. Whatever you decide to serve, use an Italian glass pitcher or stylish carafe to keep glasses full, and guests happy.
5. Prepare a playlist
A good soundtrack to the evening can spark conversation or fill those quieter moments. Start chilled – consider music without lyrics for mains, and dial-up the tempo for dessert. Plan your playlist in advance, so you’re not scrolling through Spotify as your guests arrive (or even easier: try their personalised Dream Dinner Party feature).
6. Relax and enjoy
Remember: post-lockdown, everyone’s all the more grateful to be spending time with loved ones. So don’t stress too much if things don't go to plan. Making time for your visitors and focusing solely on them is the easiest way of ensuring that they feel welcome. And that’s the secret to being the perfect host.
Article written by: Natalie Wall