Dinner Party Hosting 101

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The arrival of summer signals the beginning of one of my favorite times of the year: socializing with loved ones, whether they are blood relatives or friends. Because of this, you should clean the gravy train, shine the crystal glasses, and rearrange the songs on your iPod for the perfect dinner party atmosphere. In that case, let’s get down to organizing the summer’s most memorable dinner party.

The first order of business is the guest list. This is a dinner party, not a home party or a super-close double date, so it shouldn’t be too huge or too little. Having distinct spaces for friends and family is something I prefer, but this decision is up to each individual. There will be less of a possibility that someone will be left out of the conversation if there are just six to eight people, so I recommend sticking to an even number. Don’t bring in the patio furniture because you forgot to measure the size of your dinner table.

It’s safest to invite other couples if you’re already in one, though it’s OK to throw in a few singles occasionally; just try to keep the group balanced by including at least two of everyone. Adapt naturally to the agreed-upon figures. Plus, if the singles get along, you can find a compatible partner for a double date better. If you’re currently single, you can invite exclusively other singles or mix things up with the occasional odd pair. Since I get along best with other Arsenal fans, my wife is constantly aware that it is helpful if the guests have met previously or attempt to make sure the guests may have something in common. Spurs supporters are rarely accepted.

After finalizing the guest list, you should plan the event’s soundtrack. It’s a good idea to play some music in the background to avoid uncomfortable silences. Even though my wife and I enjoy dance music, hip-hop, and R’n’b, it’s not the best music to set the mood for an evening of exciting conversation, stories, and relaxation, so I recommend using an iPod or similar device to create a playlist. If it were me, I’d start the evening with modern dance music or something energetic when guests arrive, pour themselves a drink, and mingle before dinner. After that, I’d switch to some relaxing music for a quiet dinner, like easy listening or soul. Previous examples include artists like Santana, Johnson, Melua, Richie, and Santana. After everyone has finished eating and drinking, you can play happier music to help them recover. Make sure you have coffee!

After the evening’s music has been planned and scheduled, you may wish to think about arranging the seating arrangements. We typically use a two-tone color scheme to keep the tabletop chic and contemporary. While classic earth tones like browns and blacks are safe bets, don’t be afraid to try something new, especially if the evening has a specific theme. Using dishes, silverware, and glasses that all go together whenever possible is preferable. My wife and I have an extensive collection of crystal glassware and relish the opportunity to display it. In general, we choose a more contemporary aesthetic. Ensure your guests have all the necessary utensils to enjoy their dinner, which may include different types of cutlery depending on the dish. Don’t waste your time passing out forks with a bowl of soup as an appetizer.

Wine and whisky decanters, as well as wine and champagne glasses, are some of our favorite barware items to utilize throughout the evening. For that extra touch of class, we also offer crystal glass candle holders. There are always glass alternatives if crystal glassware is unavailable or unappealing, but for now, let’s avoid using plastic.

The last two things to plan for are the food and drink, and after reading what I’ve already stated, I wouldn’t argue with the sentiment that you should plan for these first.

Now, I’m no expert on cuisine; call me old-fashioned (or sexist, you know you thought it), but I think you should first decide on the number of courses because the wife is far more qualified. Three is a perfect number for anything. Finding new recipes can be a time-consuming process, so I recommend looking online.

Your food selection will play a major role in determining the best wine to pair with it. White wine goes well with lighter proteins like chicken and fish, while red wine is best with heartier fare like beef. Water should always be available for your guests at the table, and after a night of wine and supper, a cup of coffee can restore energy levels. When I want to impress my dinner guests, I round up the evening with a few Cuban cigars. If you decide to do this, you need to stock up on cigar cutters and the requisite libation (often brandy or whisky, although whatever strikes your fancy will do).

So, hopefully, you’ve learned something from this essay and your next dinner party goes off without a hitch. Have a nice meal!

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