The way we socialize with our friends inevitably changes as we get older. Rather than going out drinking and partying until the early hours, we would much rather spend an evening at a movie or enjoying good food and drink. Of course, everyone likes to let off some steam in a club or a local bar from time to time. But many of us have exceptionally busy lives, and we simply can’t afford to lose a whole day to feeling rough after a heavy night. Plus, the monotony of clubbing can often take hold after you’ve been doing it for a couple of years. A lot of us don’t consider it a social occasion either, as we don’t actually get the chance to talk to our friends much once we are in the club. This is why so many people, young and old, are opting to entertain at a dinner party in order to really enjoy spending time with friends. If you’re planning a catch up with some old friends, why not host one of your own?
Plan to succeed
We all know the saying ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’. It can be tempting to be easily influenced by amazing, flashy meals you see on Pinterest, with the hope of impressing your guests. But consider what it is in your realm of abilities. If you do plan to cook an extravagant meal, at least make sure that you practice it a couple of times before the big day. Set a strict shopping list and stick to it – there’s nothing worse than not having the right equipment or being a few ingredients short on the day!
Consider the practicality of your meal
Unless you have an open-plan kitchen and dining area, cooking a dish that requires constant stirring or flipping will only segregate you from your guests. Even if you do have an open-plan layout, it can still mean that you don’t spend a lot of time with your attention on your guests. Bear this in mind when you choose what to cook, as you don’t want to appear unsociable. Also, check with your guests what intolerances they have or what they refuse to eat prior to doing your shopping. This way, you will avoid having to cook several different dishes just to please everyone.
Provide a selection of drinks
What you drink at a dinner party is almost as important as the food. If you want to get really fancy, speak to a wine expert about what wines will go with what dish. You may ask yourself ‘can you buy alcohol online?’ and the answer is, yes, you can. If you are hosting for a lot of people, this can be worth doing, so it can come straight to your door. Make sure you offer a selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, for those who don’t drink or who are driving.
Create a great atmosphere
There’s no point creating a formal atmosphere around people you’ve known for years – so, no shoes on in the house! The idea is to strike a pleasant balance between being well-presented but not as though you’re hosting a royal banquet. Set the dress code as smart casual but greet your guest at the door in your slippers – it’ll make them feel more relaxed. Choose an easygoing playlist to put on in the background and decorate the room with candles. It creates a special atmosphere without alienating your guests by being too straight-laced.