Hosting a dinner party is a great thing to do if you are looking to socialize with friends. It is in some ways nicer than going out for a meal together, as it is much more personal if one member of the friendship group is putting the preparation efforts in. It can also be much cheaper than going out for dinner – for a fraction of the price, you can provide an amazing meal, prepared by yourself. Depending on the size and scale of your dinner party, you might need to start the preparation for this a little bit in advance, so here are some hosting tips that will be of use to you.

Image Via CottonBro

Prepare Some of the Food in Advance

Meal preparation is one of the best things to do if you are hosting a dinner party to avoid stress on the day. You should work out what exactly it is you are cooking and then figure out which bits of your meal could be cooked in advance and put in the fridge or freezer to store. You should also make sure that you have all of the essential items for the kitchen if you are wanting to meal prep, to make the process as easy and hassle free as you can. When your guests are soon to arrive, put your prepared meal or element of your meal into a dish and heat it up if necessary.  

Cook a Variety of Different Foods

If you are unsure about cooking one big dish for everyone to share, a better option might be to cook multiple smaller ones, so that everyone can try a bit of everything. This also puts less pressure on you – if the main dish goes wrong, this could potentially be disastrous, whereas it wouldn’t be so bad if you are cooking a few smaller things. This could be tapas or mezze style, so it could include some vegetable based or protein packed dishes, a couple of dips and some carbs, such as some nice flatbreads. This also means there will be something for everyone, even if people aren’t too keen on some of the individual dishes.

Ask About Any Allergies or Dietary Requirements in Advance

Something really important to consider when you are cooking for people is what they can and cannot eat. People might not be able to eat a particular food or food group for a number of reasons. This could be due to an allergy or intolerance, a dietary requirement such as being vegetarian or vegan, or even just a dislike of the food. If somebody is allergic to a food, such as nuts, it is probably safest to not use any nuts in any of your cooking for the dinner party, just to avoid any cross contamination and potential risks. It is always best to ask the attendees of your dinner party for the full information in advance as well as trying to gauge the severity of their allergy if they have one, to make sure you are creating a safe environment.

Have Some Fun Games to Play

A dinner party is equally about the food as well as the entertainment. After you have eaten, have some plans for an activity you could do together. A classic option which is universally liked is a card game – most people have a pack of cards too so this is an easy one. If you own other board games, this could be a fun option too. If there are too many of you to play one game, you could put some music on and leave this time for socializing. Try and ensure that you have a space in the kitchen that you can move used plates and cutlery to as well – your after-dinner activities will be more pleasant if you can sit at a clear table rather than one with the remnants of your meal!

Your preparation will undoubtedly make your dinner party a success, and your guests may even return the favor and invite you to one back. Try and not over stress during the preparation – put some music on, cook your food and have fun!