Hosting A Dinner Invitation Soon? Get Rid Of The Party Burnout Now!
Follow these easy tips & tricks! (I’ve been there too)
We are alike; you a re a super busy workingwomen, a full timer, you juggle between career, kids, house, gym, social life (a 24/7 perfect manicure, well groomed hair and the famous brunch-happy hour- coffee break with your girlfriends). We’re all in the same basket. But you also enjoy hosting at home because, you see, you are proud of it, you spent so much time putting it together, it’s the place you like to linger in the most. In a nutshell, you love your house and you want to share it with the big world because it says who you are, it tells your story. Still, when you have to host a dinner party it’s like a bomb coming at you, you hit the ceiling; you keep rescheduling the date until you realise you have to take the plunge.
It’s just a dinner party not your wedding day!
“I try to greet my friends with a drink in my hand, a warm smile on my face, and great music in the background, because that’s what gets a dinner party off to a fun start” Ina Garten (I love the simplicity this women has in a sophisticated way)
Hosting is fun! and sparkling 🙂
Because eating & drinking is fun, socialising with people over a meal is diverting, listening to music is magical, and mixing all of these together in your own environment is the perfect entertainment.
I’ve come up with those 13 tips and tricks, tested, improved & approved, they work every time:
Choose a theme for the occasion: is it formal or casual, in both cases choose the appropriate table styling, it can range from very cute flowered vases and casual dinnerware to impressive centrepieces and the 3-service cutlery.
List all the people you want to invite and do the math: I personally prefer to have all people seated at my dinner table, it’s more convivial, keeps the energy flowing and everybody gets to socialise together.
Timing:Ask everyone to come as early as possible to have enough time for appetisers and cocktails and then eat at a normal healthy time.
Music: Prepare a playlist. My choice for dinner parties is a light Jazz music, its sexy, relaxing, and always a shared pleasure, just don’t pump up the volume, you need to hear each other talking. Your playlist should cover the whole time so that you don’t have to reset it, plus its weird when the music turns off suddenly while the party is still going.
Decide on the menu. It’s not a good time to test new recipes, last minute problems can stress you, choose food you are best at, recipes people tasted at your previous parties and loved. Even better, choose recipes you can cook the night before, (some dishes are even better when they rest for 24 hrs.) Choose food that doesn’t need your intervention all the time, so you have time to sit with your friends and enjoy the party. Ensure a variety of recipes to cater for vegetarians, food allergies or just for people who enjoy light dinners. Usually, appetisers with cocktails for the pre dinner stage, then a must-have-salad, and 2 other choices of meat, poultry or fish. Don’t forget side dishes like grilled veggies, rice, pasta or baked potatoes. Don’t fuss about quantities; always count 250 grs of meat, fish or poultry per person, alongside the salad & side dishes. Prepare dessert! Even if you know that someone will probably get you a cake or a tart, you know better what goes with your menu, plus, the more the merrier!
Drinks: set up a mini bar with all DIY ingredients like sliced lemon, iced cubes, wine decanter etc. Have a bottle of the usual frequent asked for liquors like whiskey, vodka or tequila, and then there is wine. Red, white and Rosé, it’s never too much. Count 2 bottles of wine for 3 wine drinkers. Beer is always a must have and of course soft drinks.
Dinnerware: don’t overcrowd the table, no fuss, really, but for God’s sake if you are serving soup serve it in a soup tureen! Not a salad bowl. Put two breadbaskets and two water carafes at both table ends.
Drop the paper napkins use linen.Write place cards. It’s a big Yes! It brings texture to your table, it gives a stunning stylish and personal touch, moreover it makes it easier for your guests to find their seat, while you prepare the dishes and bring them to serve. Place cards don’t have to be fancy but make sure they follow the same colour palette as the rest of the table.
Stagingthe reception area: the objective here is to seat everyone and make it easy for them to rest their drinks and have their appetisers. Remove all unnecessary furniture, or bulky decor. Keep anything that can be moved easily like side tables, poufs or side chairs.
Lighting: I believe in the magic of candle lit dinners. So dim the lights, spread candles everywhere, even on your dinner table, mix the colours, go wild & sexy.
Table Decoration: while candles can be part of your decoration, flowers and centrepieces can really add to the magic of the ambiance. Did you know that your flowers could set the dinner tone? Greens, faded pinks and whites for romantic dinners, purple and dark green for a success celebration. You can even use flowers, or herbs for place cards, and napkin rolls.
The guest bathroom: put enough towels to cater for the number of guests, add a home scent perfume, and a small plant just for the greenery, play with the decoration!
As far as your guests are concerned, you’re all set!
Then there’s you: Dress to relax, you are going to move a lot, drop the high heels and the sexy shirt, take a sip of wine & relax for half an hour before the guests arrive.
How do you feel? Seriously! Hosting is really much simpler than you think; it’s actually a real pleasure.