Whilst dinner parties are a lot of fun, hosting them can be an absolute nightmare. It’s lovely to invite your friends over for dinner and have the pleasure of cooking something delicious for all of you, but, before you can get to the good part, you have to endure the nerve-wracking process of preparing everything and worrying about whether everything will be to your guest’s liking. Of course, if you know your friends, family, and anyone else in attendance then it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here’s how to keep your head when you host your next dinner party.

Food.

You need to realize first of all that the theme of the evening is everything. That doesn’t necessarily mean everything needs to dress up in an over-the-top manner (unless that’d amuse you), but it does mean that the food, at least, needs to be consistent, and every course needs to complement the next. Clashing flavors are a party killer because the meals are the centerpiece of any sophisticated dinner party; this isn’t like chucking in some lights snacks for a rave in your college dorm. The food is vital to your dinner party (the clue is in the name).

You could keep the food culturally consistent throughout, as an example. Using the same sorts of spices and herbs in each meal maintains the theme flavor-wise as well as in terms of culture. Of course, it’s always best to go with meals that you know. You don’t want to use your friends, family, and other dinner guests as guinea pigs for an experimental new cuisine you’re trying out. Experimenting is definitely something you should save for cooking in your own time. Just focus on courses that can be made to a high quality and quickly, so as not to keep guests waiting.

Drinks.

Let’s not forget the importance of getting the drinks right. It’s always a good idea to invite people to bring their own favorites to the party; this isn’t for the sake of being cheeky but simply to ensure that nobody has to deal with any drink options they don’t like. Of course, it all depends on the meal you have planned for the evening. You may know that the ingredients involved in your courses require a certain brand of drink to blend well with the flavors.

If you needed some inspiration then here is the absolute best red wine sangria to satiate your appetite. It might seem like something that you don’t need to put much thought into, but the drinks really do have an impact on the evening. If you don’t want to spoil the surprise as to what the food will include then you could offer to provide the drinks as well as the food just to ensure that nobody brings anything which will clash with the theme of the evening.

Entertainment.

Outside of food and drink consumption, you might want to flesh out your evening with some games and activities. In fact, you’ll probably have to if you want to keep your guests engaged. Keeping it simple with the forehead detective game, in which you guess the name on your head based on people’s clues, is always a safe bet. A game of Pictionary never goes amiss either.

What are some of your favorite tips for hosting dinner parties?

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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