If you’re new to the world of dinner party hosting, it can be a really daunting prospect but there are some simple ideas to make sure that the evening is not a disaster and people don’t go home hungry. Remember that just because you’ve watched a series of Come Dine With Me, doesn’t mean you have to start regularly inviting friends and neighbours over for dinner. Only do it if you really want to because it does require some effort.
Make sure they have plenty to eat, don’t skimp on the portion sizes and it’s also nice to offer something that they wouldn’t ordinarily have at home. However, a word of caution, yes it’s nice to be unique but people would rather have familiar and well cooked than unusual and not quite put together correctly. Also, if you’re on a strict diet or follow a particular set of nutritional guidelines that’s great but don’t inflict the same stringent rules to your guests.
Trying a recipe for the first time that day is also best to be avoided due to the possibility of it being a disaster and your stress levels going through the roof. Timing is another key factor in whether your big night is a success or not. Nobody wants to be rushed to the table, people usually want to enjoy a drink first. However, they also don’t want to wait until 10pm to finally get fed. A few small nibbles to pick on before they eat is a great idea and aim to give them about 40 minutes before sit down.
The other important thing you’ll need is alcohol and possibly quite a lot of it depending on how many people you will be inviting. A great place to start a dinner party is giving your guests a clear destination on arrival. Have a table made up like a bar with access all around and make sure you have the essential like an ice bucket, tongs, lemon and lime etc. Find out which wines will go perfectly with your meal choice and get a load in. You can find some great online deals when buying in bulk. For an Online wine merchants in Northern Ireland, visit http://thewinecompanyni.com/.
Other pleasant touches that could really round off the evening are the addition of things like candles and flowers on the table and definitely proper napkins. For a table set-up that really makes an impression go for a white tablecloth, white dishes and one or two bold colours for the flowers or centrepieces. Don’t start the washing up or begin loading the dishwasher until after your guests have departed. Yes you can remove plates from getting in the way but return straight away. The sole purpose of your evening is to spend time with your guests and not hide in the kitchen. Moving the dirty dishes is one thing but as soon as you turn on the tap, you are abandoning your guests and dampening the mood.