The key to the perfect dinner party is inviting the 'right mix of guests'.
Add the right atmosphere, food and drink and you'll have a dinner party they'll talk about for years.
HOW TO HOLD A SUCCESSFUL DINNER PARTY
There's little I love more than organising a dinner party at home for friends. We’re all so time-poor these days, so to do something special with friends is a treat.
In choosing the guests, it’s important to get a great balance and work out how they will mingle. I invite a few people who already know each other and add a couple of newbies to the mix.
Try to seat guests who don’t know one another with someone who has similar interests so there is common ground. However, having two friends who love talking politics but on the opposite end of the spectrum can lead to fireworks and that’s not necessarily that much fun to listen to.
Reconfirm maybe the day before as there is nothing worse than a guest forgetting.
Plan a menu that allows you to be at the table more than in the kitchen. I always think a cold entree that can be plated up early, a hot main course — work out how much oven space you have so you have room for everything — and a cold dessert. This isn’t the night to try a new recipe. You don’t want a flop so always go tried and tested.
Set the table the day before and pull out all the plates and platters needed so there are no surprises on the night. Set up an area for the bar.
Do any flowers for the house at least the day before, as they need time to fall into shape and look their best.
Remember, it’s not just the dining table that needs to be dressed. Include the bathroom and any other areas guests will see. Plants are a great substitute for flowers as they last longer and can give a different look and feel.
Turn off all overhead lights and have lots of lamp light. Also light candles and make sure you have background music ready to go. Make up a Spotify playlist so you always have some ambience.
Depending on how many guests are coming for dinner, place cards can be a huge help. They shows guests you have thought about who is coming and who you would like to sit with who. You want to get this right as it can make or break the party.
Being organised is key, so be ready half an hour before your guests arrive.
COMPILED BY MEGAN MILLER
CHYKA KEEBAUGH, CO-FOUNDER OF THE BIG GROUP HOSPITALITY COMPANY AND LIFESTYLE BLOGGER
This article is from the February 16, 2019 issue of The Herald Sun Digital Edition.
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