I quite often have groups of friends round for dinner. It’s lovely to be able to put on a nice night for friends – good food, good wine and lots of great laughs.
But I always have a last minute panic of “have I got everything sorted”, then my mind goes blank and I can’t even think of the things that need to be sorted (if that all makes sense!).
So I thought I’d write this blog post, more of a reminder for myself next time I’m hosting. Hopefully this is pretty much everything you need to consider when hosting a dinner party.
In addition to the food you’ll be serving, think about whether or not you’ll need any of the below:
- Cheese straws/bread sticks
- After dinner mints
Although your guests may bring a bottle, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got enough for everyone in case they don’t (or more likely that they do, but you drink it all!)
- Wines (red, white or pink?)
- Soft drinks and soda water – maybe something nicer than coke, so Schloer or Elderflower cordial perhaps?
- Lemon or lime (to add to water or G&Ts)
- Ice cubes
I think music is key to a good dinner party. It’s good to have two playlists – one for the pre and post dinner natter and one for whilst you’re all at the table tucking in.
Spotify is fantastic for putting together playlists like this. You can either make your own, or find one someone else has done for you. Super simple, yet super effective.
Make sure you’ve got the following ready
- A clean and ironed table cloth (optional)
- Napkins for everyone (doesn’t need to be folded in some elaborate display, but if you’ve got time they are a bit fun – see this website for simple tutorials: http://www.napkinfoldingguide.com/)
- Table mats and coasters for all
- Something to sit any hot dishes on
- Serving platters, dip bowls etc
- Enough plates, glasses and cutlery for everyone
- Serving spoons
Other bits to consider
- Give the house a bit of a clean – a quick hoover, wipe down and dust will do
- Chuck a load of bleach down the loo too, and make sure there’s enough loo roll, handwash and maybe a nice bit of moisturisor for the ladies
- Make sure you’ve considered lighting – think about using side lamps and candles rather than harsh main lights
- Get rid of all of your coats from the coat rack and hide upstairs. Then there’s somewhere for your guests to hang their coats
- Maybe buy some flowers and place in the living room and/or dining room
- Also, bear in mind that apparently 70% of guests will sneak a peak in your bathroom cabinets (although this is an American stat, I’m sure us British would never do such a thing!), but just in case maybe get rid of anything you wouldn’t want your guests to know about!
Then before your guest arrive, make sure the kitchen is as clean and tidy as possible and the dishwasher is empty. People will be coming into the kitchen to it’s so much easier if you can quickly throw dirty in the dishwasher rather than stacking them on the side.
And finally, if you’ve bought all the food from M&S and are planning on pretending you’ve cooked it all from scratch, make sure the packaging is in the main bin outside and that the kitchen isn’t looking too clean!! Teehee!!
Have you got any other dinner party checklist tips? Let me know in the comments below.