Dinner Party… by Gloria

~my grandma’s china set~

Last night, we had our families over for dinner. There is something about hosting family that makes me feel so. grown. up. Now, hosting a dinner party can be totally nerve wracking and I, certainly, am no expert- but I will share with you a few tips that make it slightly less intimidating and stressful so you can focus on enjoying your company.

  • Plan your menu a few days prior to the dinner party– Our menu listed appetizer, main course and dessert ideas taking into consideration any special food needs of guests (for example: is one of your guests vegetarian?)
  • Make a list of what you will need to pick up from the store– I like to break out my list according to the store where the items need to be purchased (for example: from the bakery, I needed fresh breadcrumbs, pastries and bread
  • Clean and stage your china the night before the event– The evening before our dinner party, I cleaned all the china I’d need for the party and staged it all so it was ready for use the next day
  • Tidy Up and set the table– I like to to make sure the apartment is spic- and- span the evening before. I also like to have the table set with place settings etc on the morning of the party. Remember, there will always be last minute cleaning such as re-washing the kitchen floor after the food preparation that you will need to allow for
  • Go Shopping– I usually food shop on the morning of the event. Some like to do it the night before- whatever you prefer is fine but don’t forget your list!
  • Do as much food prep as possible– Everything on our menu was prepared in some way prior to our families arriving (for example: the mushrooms were stuffed and placed on baking pans so they were oven-ready)
  • Staging– Underrated but, oh, so important! Prior to our families arriving, I had the coffee machine ready to go. This way, once it was time for dessert, I simply had to push the button and the coffee was brewing. No fussing with filters and coffee grinds while entertaining.
  • Tidy Up and set the mood– Take a quick look around, make sure everything is in order before your guests arrive. Dim the lights, light some candles, and get some music playing.
  • Enjoy some wine-Try to give yourself 10 minutes of downtime before guests arrive.
  • Enjoy the Party– With some pre-planning, you’ll be more relaxed and better able to entertain your guests. Remember, things won’t always go perfectly, but with practice, it definitely gets easier each time.
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