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Hosting Your First Dinner Party
Hosting your very first dinner party is a nerve-wracking prospect. Whether you are young, old, a fantastic chef or not, inviting close friends and family over for food and entertainment is a big responsibility.
If you have given it any
thought you will be aware that hosting a successful one depends on a
variety of different elements: a delicious menu, a convivial atmosphere
and enough entertainment to keep the evening going. All in all, there is a
lot to remember. This short guide is designed to give you an insight into
how to plan your very first and hopefully, very successful dinner party.
Once your guests have confirmed attendance its time to go to work! Draw up a list of action points. You might not be a natural list-maker but do trust us, this is a wise move. The action list should detail what you need to buy, when you need to buy it and how you are going to fit everything in on the day itself. Do it as a timeline if you find this helpful. This is a good way of avoiding unnecessary suffering in the kitchen on the night and it will make you feel in control.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The menu can make or break a dinner party. This is part of the reason why the prospect of the night is so nerve-wracking. The best piece of advice is to be realistic: if you are not a culinary genius don’t pick out a cookery book by aimed at Michelin starred chefs.
Keep the menu uncomplicated and don’t be afraid of doing so. A dish compiled of simple, fresh flavours gives the impression of culinary confidence and skill. It’s possible that your guests may be fooled into thinking that you are in fact a natural in the kitchen. A simple starter of salmon and rocket salad with a marinated chicken breast and fresh vegetables for the main course is one menu idea that will keep costs relatively low, preparation time to the minimum and even the fussiest of guests, happy.
PUT PANIC ON HOLD
Try and do as much as you can the night before. If you have to go to work on the day itself, you don’t want to be rushing around in the few hours you have before the guests start arriving. Marinating and vegetable chopping can be done in advance. This is also a good opportunity to prepare a cold dessert that can be stored in the fridge until it comes time to serve. Make something like tiramisu or a cheesecake: they are easy, delicious and store well.
Get the table ready. Doing this the night before is a great way to save time. Get the vase ready for the flowers, put the CD in the stereo, choose your lighting arrangement and get your outfit laid out so that you can spend the minimum amount of time running around.
Hosting your very first dinner party is a big deal. The important part is the planning. Do as much of this as you can but don’t be alarmed if things go wrong. Dinner parties are meant to be enjoyable so keep smiling and if all else fails call out for a takeaway!
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