What are the secrets to a good dinner party?

What are the secrets to a good dinner party?

I read some stats today saying that 38 per cent of Brits think dinner parties take too much time and cost too much money.

Well I couldn’t disagree more with this YouGov poll; I hold them all the time and so long as you get the basics right and have good guests then they can be a cheaper option than eating out and far more enjoyable.

I rather enjoy being the host, it can be more stress but then at least you can invite who you like and you know that if the food isn’t quite up to scratch you’ve only got yourself to blame.

Next week, friends of ours are travelling down to London for the weekend and are popping round for dinner. It’s been a while but I’m really excited!

It’ll be my husband and I, my uni friend Sarah and her husband Mike and I think I’ll invite my sister and her fiance along as it’ll be nice for them to catch up too.

Some dinner party guests can’t be avoided but I always find it helps if it’s a mixed group with not too many years difference between them.

If it’s round ours I tend to just stick to inviting adults, that way we can drink what we want and not worry about boring or embarrassing any kids.

Once I know who’s coming it pays to ask if anyone has any dietary requirements – you don’t want to splash out on steaks and find out that half of those coming to dinner are vegetarian!

If you know the guests well you can ask them to bring their own dessert or perhaps little bits and pieces to help with the meal. I do this with my sister and quite a few of our friends and find it makes for a more relaxing atmosphere and puts less pressure on the chef.

Ensure you have a wide selection of alcohol on offer for your guests and if possible try to let them know in advance what you’re cooking to gauge their reactions.

Then once they arrive make sure to have some music playing and let the conversation flow.

Finally don’t forget to suggest that you should eat dinner together more often, see if they take the hint and invite you to theirs next time!

What are your failsafe dinner party dishes?

Posted by Mandy Jones

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