Hosting a dinner party for friends or family is one of life’s great treats and preparation for the party is key to its success. The way in which the table is set, the lighting, music and of course, the food all require careful consideration. Here are some top tips for preparing your dining room for the perfect dinner party.
What’s on the Menu?
There are several things that need to be taken care of well in advance of a dinner party if it is to be successful and not stressful. A week before the event plan the menu and make a list of all the things you need to buy – in addition to food, don’t forget things like wine and candles. This way you can pick up the ingredients at your leisure and not have to rush around getting them at the last minute. Next, think about how you will “stage” the event.
Lighting and Ambiance
While the idea of a candle lit dinner is very romantic, the reality is that some additional lighting makes for a much better ambiance, particularly when there are more than two of you. The dinner table needs enough light for people to be able to see the food and each other – it’s not just eating that is done with the eyes. Make a statement with an elegant ceiling light and then use candles to enhance the ambiance it creates.
The Dining Table and Seating
There are two key considerations here; first the dining table needs to be big enough to accommodate all the guests and the array of crockery, cutlery and glassware you intend to use – cluttered tables with guests who are unable to move freely can make for a rather uncomfortable experience.
Second, the way the table is set is important. Whether you use a formal and uniformed dinner set or an eclectic mash up of items is a matter of taste, but laying them out beautifully will set the tone for the party.
If Music be the Food of Love…
Finally, plan what music you will play whilst entertaining. Choosing music that works well at a low volume and that isn’t too raucous is a good idea – classical music is often a winner.
A dinner party that has been well prepared for is far more enjoyable than one that has not and will leave you in a position to actually spend time with guests, as opposed to rushing around cooking and ultimately missing out.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.