I’ve hosted quite a number of dinner parties, attended a fair share and performed at lots more. So here are some top tips to save a red-faced-end to those occasions when you entertain guests over dinner:
- Fancy Is Not Your Friend – Don’t be tempted to do the most outlandish, crazy food when entertaining guests. Instead go for things you have cooked hundreds of times. You’ll be tempted do ‘try something different’ but remember that your ‘same old same old’ is different for these people. And you’d rather that whatever they do have is something you’re confident in. You really don’t want to be stressing, when in fact what you make ordinarily will entertain the heck out of your guests’ tastebuds.
- Variety Is The Spice Of Life – You wouldn’t really want to eat a quiche for starters followed by a pie for mains and then a tart for desert would you? Also make sure that the food isn’t so heavy that people struggle to get through it. Go easy on those flavours too, just because you like to empty a pot of salt on your veg doesn’t mean everyone else will like to.
- Pop The Question – This is a big one; avoid the awkwardness of serving your favourite lamb dish only to have someone cut through the atmosphere with the word ‘Vegetarian’. Just asking your guests if there are things they don’t eat or are allergic to. Especially nowadays when everyone seems to have a nut allergy.
- Plan And Pre-Cook – This will mean you can spend more time entertaining your dinner party guests, instead of in the kitchen. People want to see their host so where possible pre-cook where you can, and plan the timings so that you can be the centre of attention with your guests, where you can enjoy yourself.
- After dinner entertainment – The success of this is imesurable. Just when you’ve wowed everyone with your desert, to go for the standing ovation with some after dinner entertainment. Yes, in your home. Many acts such as magicians (and yes, mind readers) can scale their acts to be particularly pleasing. In fact I’d say that intimate dinners for 6-12 people are ideal for this kind of entertainment because everyone gets to feel a personal connection and get involved.
Together all of these hints and tips that I’ve gotten from watching it right, and go terribly wrong, will help you relax more, enjoy yourself and ensure your guests talk about your dinner party for a long time in the future.