Many people used the pandemic as an opportunity to hone their culinary skills and build an impressive repertoire of specialty dishes. Now that life is returning to some semblance of normal, social distancing is no longer the way of life, which means the classic dinner party is finally on the cards again. 

Throwing a dinner party is fun and exciting, however, it can also be extremely stressful. There are a number of important factors to consider and if you aren’t properly prepared the whole experience can be a let-down, both for you and your guests. 

Read on to find out everything you need to know to throw a dinner party with confidence.

Create a welcoming atmosphere

The first thing to do when entertaining is to make sure your home feels inviting to your guests. Soft lighting is a key part of creating a cozy atmosphere, as bright lights can feel harsh and glaring. Pendant lights are a great option as they offer subtle light and make an eye-catching focal point for the dining room.

Check dietary requirements

No one wants to be the awkward person who can’t eat the meal you’ve prepared, so ensure you ask your guests in advance if they have any dietary requirements. Not only will this prevent any embarrassing moments when the food is served, but it will also prevent an allergic reaction that could put someone’s life in danger.

Cook dishes you know well 

A dinner party is not the time to try a new recipe or experiment with your own culinary creations. Often the first time you make something it won’t turn out well or you may find there’s a fault with the recipe. Sticking to dishes you’ve made before will ensure you’re confident in what you’re serving and will make it less likely that something won’t go to plan. 

Be prepared 

Being organized and having everything sorted before your guests arrive will make it easier for everyone to enjoy the evening. No one wants to be hosted by someone who spends the night rushing around in a panic, so ensure the table is set, the drinks are cold and any food which can be cooked in advance is ready. 

Dinner Party

Offer a range of drinks

Not everyone likes wine, so ensure you offer a selection of drinks so your guests can have something they enjoy. You may prefer to ask each guest to bring a bottle, to make it easier and to reduce the cost spent on alcohol. Remember to have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available too, as some guests may prefer not to drink or may have to drive home. 

Consider the finishing touches 

Making a few simple additions to your food when you plate it up can make it look especially appealing and impress your guests. For example, a black or colored plate will look more attractive than a plain white one and help the food stand out. Garnishes are also a nice touch – even something small like a grating of lemon zest over a cheesecake will help elevate it.