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Eight tips for throwing a great dinner party

March 31, 2017

Party season is here which means that it’s time to throw a great dinner party. Whether you decide to throw a party in your garden or host an extravagant sit down affair, it’s important to be properly prepared and organised. This way you’ll be able to be able to enjoy the party with your guests without spending the entire night in the kitchen. Follow these eight tips for throwing the best dinner party.

  1. Pick a good group.


It’s very important to pick a good group of people for the dinner party that you want to throw. Choose friends who get along, have similar interests and share things in common. A great way to ensure that everyone can make it to your party is by sending out the invites a few weeks ahead of time. Send invites via email and do a follow-up reminder a few days before the party. This way everyone will be well-informed and have time to prepare.


  1. Go with what you know.


Prepare something for dinner which you enjoy but also something you have experience in making. Whether it’s a summer cheese platter or a BBQ chicken made on the weber, make sure to prepare the food beforehand so your quests are not standing around waiting until midnight to eat. Choose a meal you know everyone will enjoy. Choose something easy and budget friendly. You can also ask your friends to prepare a garden salad or bring sides to go along with the main dish. This way you’re not left picking up the entire cost of the meal.


  1. Cook smart.


This tip is pretty simple. Avoid food that involves constant stirring, flipping, or checking. Think of a simple dish that will leave everyone satisfied without your purse or energy feeling it afterwards. If the food needs cooking time on the fire or oven, make sure there are a few chip and dip options laid out on the table so that your guests can snack and mingle while they wait for dinner.


  1. Check your inventory ahead of time.


On your invitation, state an RSVP date so you know how many people are attending well ahead of time. This will help  because you have the correct amount of plates, knives, forks, serviettes and glasses. It’s important to know how many people are attending so that you know what to buy and how much of it.  


  1. Plan the night strategically.


Prepping for a dinner party isn’t quite the same as tossing together some noodles on any given weeknight. Spend some time creating a document which runs through the evening. Add in the hours of the evening and the tasks that should be completed by those times. An example could be serving the welcome drinks at 7pm, putting the music on at 7:30pm, serving starters at 8pm etc. Although things will most probably not run exactly as planned, it’s important to have an idea of what needs to be done at what time.


  1. Do the hard work first.


As a host, the last thing you want to do is leave your guests alone all evening. This is why preparing as much as possible before the evening is vital. Look for recipes that include instructions and as little preparation time as possible. If your recipe includes vegetables, find time to chop them beforehand. This will give you more free time to spend with your guests and enjoy the party yourself.


  1. Clean as you go.


It might seem like a pain in the moment, but it’s usually a good idea to wash pots and pans as you finish using them. Keep your dishwasher running and you’ll be able to keep things clean the whole night.


  1. Set the table the night before.


Setting the table can take a lot of time. It’s a great idea to set the table the night before. This way you don’t have to worry about this while your guests are there. Spend the night before the party setting out the tablecloth and silverware. You can also pick a bunch of flowers and put them on the table. Add decorations and candles, and you can even go so far as to write each persons name on a  piece of paper and place them where they need to sit.

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