For most of us, dinner parties have been something of a rarity for the last eighteen months or so. So understandably, that might have left you a little out of practice. Since they can be stressful enough even at the best of times, we’ve got your back here at SuperHit Ideas – here are just a few of our top tips to make sure everything goes smoothly at your next gathering, saving you the hassle so that you and your guests can enjoy the evening.
Don’t be too ambitious with the menu
Where classy events like dinner parties are concerned, it’s easy to cave to the temptation to cook something a little more ambitious than you might normally cook. But that idea comes with its fair share of risk! The more complex and flashy dishes can have an unfortunate tendency to go wrong in unpredictable ways, which can be a veritable nightmare if you’ve got guests in the next room waiting for their food.
Instead, it’s best to cook something that you’re confident with, and nothing that might be pushing the limits of your culinary ability, especially if you haven’t had had a chance to practice it properly beforehand.
Look at the bigger picture
When you’re picking out individual dishes for your repertoire, don’t forget to ensure that they all complement each other. For example, a quiche for mains and then a tart for dessert might not be the best bedfellows, because they’re both very stodgy and pastry based. If you have a heavy main, you’ll want a relatively light dessert, and vice versa. There’s a flow to be established! If you’re stuck, it might help to pick out a theme for your dinner party, like Spanish or Italian cuisine.
It’s all about timing
Another consideration for when you’re picking out the dishes for your menu – don’t forget to check whether they’ll overlap with each other in terms of preparation. For example, if you need to put your pudding in the oven, it could end up being a bit of a problem if your main is still in there cooking. Plus, ideally you won’t want anything that will keep you in the kitchen for too long, so if you can, try and space out your preparation times a bit. Your guests might not be fully at ease if you end up disappearing into the kitchen for long stretches between courses.
Keep wine away from your sofas!
OK, so we recognise that this one is a lot more specific than the others, but trust us, when it comes to stress at a dinner party, it doesn’t get much more intense than desperately dabbing away at a fresh wine stain while your guests look anxiously on, especially if you’re all a little worse for wear.
Now, just in case it becomes relevant, you might be interested to know that white wine can indeed help to deal with the stain of red wine. (We’ll spare you the detailed chemistry lesson, but basically there’s an enzyme in the former that strips out the pigment from the latter, which lightens the stain.)
We think you’ll agree though, that it’s a lot less stressful just to avoid that situation in the first place. You can make an exception if you’ve got removable furniture covers from a company like Cover My Furniture, because if the worst happens then these can be simply removed and placed in the wash. If the covers don’t come off though, steer clear!
And finally… have fun!
This probably seems a little circular in terms of advice on how to avoid stress, but what we mean is: it’s your night too, so don’t be afraid to take little shortcuts. After all, you’re not staff – you’re there to enjoy your night with your guests too, so don’t be afraid to take whatever measures you think are necessary to be able to do that. Enlist some help from friends or family (or one of the guests themselves, if you give them enough notice). Get some pre-made desserts in, and concentrate your efforts on the main. Ask your guests to bring their own booze. Ultimately, as long as they’re not eating a microwave meal, you might be surprised at how much leeway they’ll be willing to give you!
5 Top Tips to Save Yourself Stress When Hosting a Dinner Party was last modified: October 12th, 2021 by Arya