The idea of throwing a dinner party can be both exciting and daunting. Especially if you don’t have a large house or a huge kitchen. It’s part of our nature to crave social contact and the very best times we have with our friends usually involve food or wine.
You don’t need an excuse to have a get together and most of the best nights we share come from those impromptu moments. Children often feature so it’s important to balance wow factor with practicality, it might be worth taking a look at this article on kitchen electrical must haves for great tips on how to stock your kitchen.
Firstly, think about your table. If you have children you’ll need a quick fix for those pen marks! Throwing over a crisp white tablecloth (You can even use a clean bedsheet for this) brightens any dining room. You can add a touch of glamour with a good quality table runners, some tealights or a large vase full of fairy lights. Ambience is everything.
Image by Terje Solo
The best dinner parties always start with nibbles. Something simple like bruschetta. It’s more a distraction to keep hungry guests happy whilst they mingle with each other, giving you extra time to tinker in the kitchen and keeping your kids busy as they hand them out.
A brilliant idea for kicking off the main proceedings is to chuck something on the table everyone can dig into. This encourages interaction and engagement. In ski chalets pots of fondue have been bringing people together for years. Passing round bread and forking into a pot of hot bubbling cheese, laughing at one another when bread falls off or sploshes on the table. Instead of a Fondue (although retro dining is a thing now a days) why not get things started with this melted camembert recipe, an Italian meat board and lots of fresh, crusty bread.
For years the French have adopted the ‘put it all in a pot and plonk it on the table’ attitude. This is perfect for dinner parties at home. Lots of early prep followed by removing something from the oven and wowing your guests with a brilliant centre piece. A really good recipe is this Boeuf Bourguignon by Nigel Slater and again, it’s a really great family friendly dinner. Impressing your guests and keeping your children happy. (photo credit Roland Tanglao)
Desert should always come with two options. A good cheese board is a must for those guests who lack a sweet tooth. Chocolate is rarely objected. For a real fuss free dessert, that you can make ahead of time, go with a simple chocolate mousse.
Prosecco has become increasingly popular and has become very affordable. But whilst choosing your alcoholic beverages please remember the drivers attending, soft drinks can often be forgotten about so put a little effort into buying a selection of non alcoholic super drinks. Flavoured waters are great and you can even buy some pretty convincing alcohol free beers.
Whatever your reason for holding a dinner party, make yours one to remember!