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Whether you’re planning on inviting a group of friends round for a classy dinner party, or have decided to open your home to a group of strangers in a ‘Come Dine With Me’ style event, the guests will be judging you on not just simply the great food you’re putting on the table, but also on your hosting skills and the level of service you provide them with. With fine dining, it’s usually the little things that make such a massive impact – does the wine compliment the food it’s served with? Was the table decorated appropriately? To make sure that your private fine dining event goes to plan, here are some top tips from service professionals that you may like to consult.

Speak to a Wine Expert

Instead of picking up wine at your local supermarket, getting recommendations from a wine merchant or somebody who’s got wine expertise will really help to put the ‘fine’ into your fine dining event. A good wine merchant will be able to recommend the best beverages to pair perfectly with each course on your menu, along with useful advice such as when they should be opened, and if they should be served straight from the bottle or from a carafe. You may also want to consider hiring a company like liquidchefs.co.uk to supply you with an in-hour bar.

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Keep it Simple

Simplicity is often key when it comes to fine dining, as you’ll want to create a classy, polished look rather than one that’s too busy or cluttered. Avoid large centrepieces such as bouquets of flowers and large candles, and avoid anything less than a subtle hint when it comes to scents, as even the nicest of air fresheners or scented candles can interfere with tastes and flavours if it’s too strong. Keep your tableware clean and polished, make sure that you’ve got spare tableware if it is needed, and decorate your table with a simple, crisp ironed tablecloth for a clean and simple appearance. You could also create name cards for your guests to give the table a personal touch.

Look After Your Guests

Throughout the meal, your guests should always be the main priority of any fine dining event. Making sure that your guests have options is important, such as offering an alternative wine if they do not like the first choice, or even having choices such as salted or unsalted butter, or a selection of white or wholemeal bread can be an important touch to some guests that you should take into consideration. You should also always ensure that any guests with special culinary needs have these needs met, such as by preparing a vegetarian option, or creating an individual dish for a guest who has a food allergy to something that you have served. Traditionally you should keep to the service order of ladies first, then gentlemen, and then the host. You should also remember to keep glasses topped up at all times, and keep the plates warm in the oven before you serve your guests their food.

Keep these tips in mind, and you should host the perfect fine dining event.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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