A dinner party is a great way to bring friends and family together. It’s also unique in that you don’t need a reason to throw one. From acquiring a round placemat set to finding the right music for your event, here’s a quick checklist for planning a successful dinner party:
- Get yourself a good table. A modern round kitchen table lends intimacy to your event and is perfect for small groups, but for larger numbers I recommend a nice long butcher block table, sparsely decorated.
- Plan for spills. Grab some cheap, unfussy placemats for each guest to eat on and try to keep eating and drinking to a localised area. If spills do occur, don’t sweat it – just have some stain remover on hand for a quick clean up.
- Do your prep work in advance. It’s true that certain items need to be served immediately after cooking, but that doesn’t mean you can’t portion your ingredients and cook any unperishable foods hours or even days in advance.
- Ask for help. Everyone wants to imagine themselves as a superstar in the kitchen, but there’s no shame in asking your friends to help you. Giving a few guests one small item each to prepare will aid you immensely, and chances are they’ll be more than happy to lend a hand.
- Have fun with presentation. Instead of breaking out (and dusting off) your stuffy china, why not set your guests at ease with whimsical crockery choices? Give your party a picnic theme by spreading a red and white checked tablecloth, or make it a country soiree with fresh flowers and glass jars with lids for drinks.
- Choose the right tunes. Norah Jones and Michael Buble are perfectly respectable artists, but there’s no mandate that they must make an appearance at your party. Pick low key music that your friends will enjoy, or better yet, load up your iTunes with credit so that your guests can choose the music for you!
January’s best reason for a dinner party:
Each January 25, poetry enthusiasts around the world celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns by throwing Burns suppers. Burns suppers are informal occasions during which guests eat haggis, drink Scotch whiskey, and recite the poetry of Robert Burns and others.
Did you know?
Madonna and Guy Ritchie were introduced in 1998 at a dinner party thrown by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler.
Posted by Jeff O. @ 12 January 2011