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You’re planning to host a dinner party for a select number of close friends and family. You can see the meal now: it’s your speciality, the one you’ve spent years mastering, the one that you each and every person that tries it loves – and always asks for seconds. It sounds like you’re well on your way to dinner party success, right? Not so fast. When it comes to hosting people for dinner, the food is only 30% of the ingredients that’ll make it work well. Below, we take a look at what else you need to do to make it a night to remember.
Setting the Scene
Nobody wants to have to move a laptop out of the way so they can pick up the roast potatoes. Before your guests arrive, make sure you move everything that doesn’t have to be in the dining room to another part of the house. You should aim to make the place as much like a restaurant as possible. How often do you see scrap pieces of paper and children’s toys in a restaurant? Having a calm, empty space will help create an atmospheric ambiance, too. And speaking of which….
You’ll want to create an atmosphere that’s conducive to stimulating conversation. That means getting the lighting just right and having subtle music playing in the background. For our money, you can’t go wrong with jazz music; you’ll always be in a good place if Kind of Blue by Miles Davis is playing softly in the background. Candles, music, action! It’ll put everyone in the right frame of mind. Who needs a restaurant when the atmosphere in your home is so good?
The Surprise Elements
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to hosting a dinner party. If you have great food and great drinks, then good times will follow. But it’s always a good idea to throw in a surprise element somewhere along the way. You could serve a dessert from days gone by, or opt for Kikori Japanese whiskey instead of the usual scotch you serve after the meal. Serving something that’s a little bit more unusual is a good way to keep things fresh – and get a positive reaction from your guests. Nothing’s sweeter to hear than “I’ve never had that before…it’s delicious!”
There is an art to presenting food. Of course, it’ll depend on what dish you’re serving. It’s a good idea to get creative because how the food looks is a big part of the dining experience. It’s the look, smell, and taste (and in some cases, feel!). Feed the senses by putting as much thought into the presentation as you do the taste.
Keeping the Fun Alive
People will come for the food and stay for the fun. It’s essential that you have some fun dinner party games planned. If the conversation is non-stop then you might not need them, but it’s good to have them in your locker should you see anyone yawn!