So you've finally gone for it – you've decided to throw a dinner party and you want to make sure everyone gets just the right impression.
The big secret of planning a successful dinner party isn't really a secret at all. It's all in the planning and if you give yourself enough time to prepare there is no reason why it shouldn't be a roaring success.
Firstly, you need to think of numbers. How many people will you invite? How many do you have room to accommodate? It is easy to make life hard for yourself if you aren't careful. For example, if your dining table can comfortably seat six and you invite eight, you will be struggling to fit everyone in on the night. Keep things simple and remember to apply that same rule to every aspect of the party as well.
Make sure you send out invitations or call people to arrange the evening well in advance as well. People tend to have busy lives and you don't want to call them the week before and find they are all doing something else. Take this opportunity to ask people if they have any particular allergies or whether they are vegetarian or vegan as well. Yes its preparation again – you don't want to serve up beef to a vegetarian on the night!
Once you know people are coming and whether or not you have to cater for special diets or requirements, you can start planning your menu. Try and gain a balance between creating a nice meal and not going overboard.
For example it probably isn't wise to attempt your first ever soufflé for dessert. Think about foods you can prepare and perhaps even cook in advance. A cheesecake would be a good example as it can be prepared ahead of time; all you have to do is serve it.
The other advantage of preparing as much as possible in advance is that you will be able to enjoy the meal with everyone else. If the recipes you choose are very much hands on, you will be in the kitchen slaving away while everyone else enjoys themselves in the dining room.
You can see that thinking ahead can save you hours of time when it comes to being the perfect dinner party host. The more you have prepared and the more you plan in advance, the more chance you have of creating the perfect dinner party atmosphere.
Luckily, it is easy enough to call people to invite them to your forthcoming dinner party nowadays. Cheap calls mean you can chat for a while and make sure you know what people do and don't like.
It all adds up to a dinner party that everyone will remember for the best of reasons!