How to Throw The Ultimate Dinner Party

Dinner parties are the perfect social activity: dressing up, but not leaving the house, and meeting up with friends and having a lower risk of catching COVD-19 than if you were at a bar or restaurant. Perfect. 

However, we understand that for many the prospect of throwing a dinner party can be extremely daunting. Socialising with friends while having to cook them a meal, is more an idea of hell than heaven for some – but if playing the role of host is an unfamiliar, or unwanted title that you are having to uphold, we have got all the tips to help you to create the ultimate dinner party event for your guests and have a good time while doing so: 

  • Hire Help

Just because you have been given the task of hosting (or offered to step into the role), doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. If you would enjoy your evening more if you didn’t have to cook or clean up, for example, then don’t do those things. It really is as simple as that. Just because guests have been invited into your home for a feast, doesn’t mean that you have to be the one to cook it. 

A new social circle, job, or relationship could mean that dinner parties are now a more permanent fixture in your life, and if that is the case we would suggest hiring a more permanent level of help. For larger households a Domestic Couple is often the perfect fit – Housekeeper and Chef or Full-Time Cook and Butler combinations  could be your dinner party secret weapon. There are a number of staffing roles that could join your household and help you to throw incredible dinner parties, clean up, plan and schedule social activities and more.  

Hiring help could also look like: ordering catering services, or hiring a chef for one evening; paying for a one-off cleaning after the event; or even having a planner organise the evening. 

  • Ask For Help 

If you cannot afford to hire help, you still don’t need to do everything alone. If your guests are good friends then asking them for help should not be a problem, whether you simply ask them to bring a starter or dessert while you sort out the main or gently encourage them to carry their plates into the kitchen before you play some games together in a different room. Asking for help when the guests are good friends should not be a problem, but what if the guests aren’t your friends? 

Perhaps you are hosting a dinner party for your partner’s boss, neighbours, parents from your child’s school that you are eager to impress, or as an introduction to your new partner’s family, in these situations the pressure can be incredibly high. High pressure, high stress, can often inadvertently cause things to go wrong. In these cases asking for help could involve roping in a friend to help you set up, or prep the food, or to even be a listening ear on the end of a phone to calm you throughout the evening. 

Asking for help is always okay, reach out for help and we are sure you’ll be surprised at the response and at how much easier it is for you to enjoy the evening yourself. 

  • Plan Ahead

Planning is essential when it comes to executing the ultimate dinner party. More than anything, planning helps you to enjoy the evening almost as much as your guests will. 

In our opinion, everything should be planned in advance: the guest list, the food (including whether guests have any dietary restrictions or allergies), the timings (of cooking said food, as well as when guests will arrive, food and drinks will be served, and even when you will say goodbye at the end of the evening). It’s also important to consider whether there will be any scheduled entertainment, this could just be playing some music or inviting your guests to play some games together. 

If you’re worried you won’t be able to relax and enjoy your own dinner party, planning can help with that. If you’re considering hiring Household Staff, or already employ help, planning is something else that they can assist you with. 

  • Serve Food You Love 

It can be easy to be swept up in the excitement of hosting your dinner party, and as such, it’s important to serve a meal that you know and love, something you are very familiar with cooking, or already know is a hit with guests. 

If you are cooking the meal yourself then serving a dish that you already know well, and have cooked previously, will be a great benefit for a number of reasons: you will know the prep and cook times, and what the finished dish should look like, you will know that the meal will taste great and be enjoyed by yourself and your guests (and really, what more could you want?). 

Another added benefit of serving food that you love, it normally comes with a story that you can tell your guests – when did you learn to cook this meal? Why do you love it? Where did you first try it? Who taught you the recipe? Dinner parties and good stories go hand-in-hand, and having a few tales staffed up your sleeve is another form of preparation to help keep your evening afloat. This works if you’re having the meal cooked professionally too, just because you aren’t cooking does not mean that you have no say in the menu. 

  • Enjoy Yourself 

Even if the dinner party that you are hosting is high-stakes, and could make-or-break your next promotion. Even if you’re cooking a dish you’ve never tried before, or are trying to put your best foot forward and impress new neighbours or the PTA. Even if you have never hosted a dinner party before, relaxing and enjoying yourself is incredibly important. 

As much as you may try to hide it, your guests will be able to tell if you are stressed and unable to enjoy yourself, and this could lead to them being unable to fully relax and have fun too. Take note of all of the advice we’ve shared above, breathe, and you’ll find yourself host of the ultimate dinner party in no time. 

Contact Staff of Distinction, a household staffing agency, to find permanent staff to help you stay prepared no matter what your dinner party event throws at you. 

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