Christmas and New Year may be past, but that doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to socializing over good food for another 12 months. Why not recreate the festive magic and get your friends round for a dinner party?
Dinner parties can be great fun, and are often easier and cheaper than eating out – especially if you get lots of lovely return invitations! You can easily shop for food online making dinner party prep a doddle. It’s then just a matter of cooking, serving and entertaining like the perfect hostess – no problem!
In seriousness, no one expects cordon bleu cooking at a dinner party. Guests are likely to be grateful for an invite no matter what you serve, and keeping the wine flowing is often enough to ensure that guests make their own entertainment (not too much, mind!).
If you’re new to hosting dinner parties, follow these tips for a foolproof dinner party:
Select Guests Wisely
While it’s tempting to just invite all of your best friends around, a dinner party guest list deserves more thought than that. Think about the mix of people that you are inviting. Does everyone know each other? Do they all get on? If they don’t already know each other, are there any obvious personality clashes?
Remember though, it’s your ‘do’, so don’t revolve it around your guests too much. A good rule of thumb is to think in terms of ‘pairs’ so that each person has someone that you feel they have common ground with. Seat your ‘pairs’ within talking distance of one another.
Match your Menu
Consider your menu carefully. It needs to match your budget, your time constraints and your level of skill in the kitchen, as well as matching the likes and dislikes of your guests. When you shop for food online at ASDA you’ll find a selection of fantastic recipes that should get you off to a good start. The beauty of that function is that you know that you can find all the ingredients in one easy, convenient place – Asda.com!
Some people like to give their guests a ‘surprise’ menu but this is a risky strategy. While you don’t have to give the game away completely, it’s best to check that no one strongly dislikes or is allergic to any of the key ingredients of the dishes that you plan to serve.
Time It Right
Timing is key when it comes to throwing the perfect dinner party. Leaving too long between courses will kill the atmosphere, whereas serving courses in too quick succession will fill guests up too quickly and spoil their enjoyment of the meal.
You also need to keep control of when guests are expected to leave. You’ll find that there’s always one guest who lingers on, keeping you from your bed or the washing up. A polite, ‘shall I call you a taxi?’ should be all the hint they need to realise that it’s time they thanked you for a lovely evening and went on their way!
Remember – Throwing a dinner party should be fun, so keep things as stress free as possible by shopping for food online, practicing your menu before the big night, and making sure that you give yourself enough time to prepare.
Keep these simple tips in mind and you should be able to throw the perfect (or near enough!) dinner party with ease.
This sponsored guest post was brought to you by groceries.asda.com.