Whether you’re a seasoned entertainer or a novice, you may be overdue for a get-together. Use these hospitality tips on throwing a successful dinner party.
You may love great food—but that doesn’t mean that you love to entertain. But the last year has been so lonely that it makes sense to want to gather some loved ones around the table. It can be hard to have real conversations in a noisy restaurant, especially in a group. But with a few tips on throwing a successful dinner party, even a first-time host can serve up some delicious hospitality.
Take Your Time Planning
Hosting a soiree might still seem premature to you, so you might want to schedule something a few months ahead. Have fun planning everything down to the last detail so you’ll be ready to go when it’s time. Make your grocery lists, practice your cooking, spend way too many hours on Pinterest—whatever helps you feel confident as you prepare.
Narrow Down the Menu
As a connoisseur of all kinds of cuisine, it’s hard to know what to serve. You’re already agonizing about the menu, aren’t you? Give yourself a break and narrow your cooking down to a theme. If there are already one or two dishes you know you want to serve, you can tailor your theme to that. If not, these ideas might help you brainstorm:
- Soul food
- Breakfast for dinner
- Locally sourced
- Comfort food
- Childhood favorites
- Friendsgiving anytime
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One of the most valuable tips on throwing a successful dinner party? Plan a varied menu. Just because you’re vegan or on a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean the rest of your guests are. Make sure to be inclusive with an array of dishes that will appeal to the diners.
Strategize the Seating
Your dining room might not have been getting a lot of use lately. It’s a good time to assess it with a fresh eye. Just because your dining set came with eight chairs doesn’t mean you have to use them all. You can limit your guest list to four or six. This way, the group can interact more easily. And as far as a seating chart, skip it. Your group is small enough to mix on its own.