Whether you’re throwing a dinner party for business reasons or for old friends, the best way to make sure you stand out as a host is to focus on providing an exceptional experience, filled with high quality dining, decor and conversation — an experience that your guests will not forget in a long time.
Preparation, preparation, preparation
Preparation is vital to the success of your dinner party: from planning the menu to choosing a theme for your evening to ensuring that your dining table is set to your taste. Try and carry out all the small tasks around the home beforehand – this will help free you up to socialise with your guests during the actual event.
Set the scene
If you have a party for your theme, then the choice of menu and table accessories will be influenced by that. Choose the tablecloth, table runner, flowers and candles, placeholders and cutlery to create a setting that will match the occasion. A more formal dinner will need a more formal setup – arrangements follow certain rules around cutlery placement, glasses and plates, while for a relaxed dinner with friends you can put your creativity to test.
Choose the perfect floral accents
A tasteful floral centrepiece can really add a touch of elegance and opulence to a dining room and complement your tableware arrangement. The type of arrangement you opt for should be influenced by the theme of the evening, the style of your tableware and the overall style of your home. For continuity, it should also be influenced by the time of year that you’re holding the dinner party. Use bright flowers and foliage and don’t be afraid to experiment with contrast: particularly in colour, size, shape and texture.
Whether you have a good eye for flower arrangements or want to ask a florist for help, choose seasonal flowers in a colour combination that will continue your evening theme.
Pick the right menu for the occasion
The menu is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of your dinner party. Get this component right and you will leave your guests in awe. Creating even a simple, no fuss menu but with high quality, fresh ingredients is a great way to impress your guests.
When it comes to creating the individual courses, think carefully about the theme and tone of your evening, any dietary requirements that your guests might have, the complement of flavours and textures of the courses you plan on creating. Choose high quality, locally-sourced, seasonal meat and vegetables for a superior taste and also think carefully about how the food is going to look on the plate. Artfully-arranged courses will not only impress your guests visually— they can help to improve the perception of taste too.
Create the right ambience
Whilst food, table arrangements and decoration can be key to the success of a dinner party, so too is the ambience of the evening— the atmosphere that you create.
The key to creating the right ambience is to remain relaxed and hospitable at all times— hopefully, the intensive preparation you have done ahead of the event will take some of the stress away. Soft, tasteful music is a useful way to create the atmosphere you want easily and without too much effort. Encourage conversation around the table, pay attention to all your guests, including the more quiet ones and keep your guests’ glasses topped up and you will be set for a fantastic evening!