Monday, February 17, 2014

Entertaining After The Holidays: How To Host The Ultimate Dinner Party

The holidays are over but the celebrations don't need to stop! Here are some tips on how to be the hostess with the mostest, no matter the occasion or time of year!

The holidays are time for sumptuous feasts, extravagant indulgences and merry-making. But why should the fun stop once the festive period has ended? There should always be a good reason to gather your nearest and dearest for a fabulous dinner party, whatever time of year it may be.

Follow this simple guide and you’ll discover the easiest and most enjoyable ways to host your own fancy dinner party, from finding the  perfect dining room furniture  to ensuring your menu is top class. All you need is a little preparation and dedication and you can have a party that has all the glitz and sparkle of the holidays.

The Food

The holidays aren't the only time you can find wonderful food available in your local shops. With a bit of imagination, you can find some amazing treats to delight your guests that rival even the tastiest holiday dinner. Visit your local butcher or specialty grocer to get the latest advice about the best things to eat, then go online to search hundreds of interesting recipes. Take time to prepare your feast beforehand, setting out courses, finding ingredients you will need and deciding how long each will take to cook. You should also check with your guests in advance to find out if they have any special dietary requirements.

The Drink

Your guests will probably bring a bottle or two of alcohol along with them but if you really want to wow as the host, take the time to come up with a drink menu as well thought-out as your food. Why not make up a couple of cocktails for the evening? Something light and refreshing will cleanse your diner’s palettes, or try something creamy and decadent to go with dessert.

The D├ęcor

When planning a dinner party, you want your guests to feel like they have travelled somewhere special for their night out. A few garden chairs pulled up around your dining table will hardly do your party justice, so take time to plan in advance. If need be, see if you can borrow additional chairs from a neighbor or friend to ensure everyone has a proper seat. The table setting should be simple, yet elegant. Too many plates, bowls and bric-a-brac on the table will clutter it up. Stick to a few candles and perhaps some fresh flowers.

The Guests

A sophisticated dinner party is aimed primarily at adults, so if possible try to limit the number of children attending. Parents feel obligated to ensure their child is happy or behaving properly and will find it hard to relax. You also don’t want to invite too many people, otherwise your intimate dinner will become a party instead. There are many ideas about how many is too many but the general consensus appears to be around 6-8.

The Atmosphere

When your guests arrive, you want them to instantly feel relaxed and at ease. The room should be warm but not stifling and there should be plenty of room for people to maneuver around each other. Some soft music in the background helps fill any silences that occur but it shouldn’t be loud enough to make talking difficult.

This article was written by freelance writer and mother of three, Kathryn Thompson. Follow her on Twitter: @katht35

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