Have a party that they’ll be talking about for years.
One of the best dinner parties I ever went to started at a normal hour, 7:30pm, but no one left until well after 1am! Nobody wanted to leave. The best part? The host didn’t want anyone to leave either! If you follow these very simple rules you can have a never ending dinner party that your friends will remember with love for years. If you get really good at it, you will be known as the dinner party queen/king and the envy of everyone you know.
- Be careful of your guest list. That doesn’t mean to keep it to a specific number of guests but to pay attention to the mix of guests. Be aware of any tension between any of your friends and make sure you don’t stir that hornet’s nest-it won’t bode well for a convivial evening.
- Serve dinner “family style.” When you try to create individual plates everything becomes more formal and that’s the exact opposite of your goal. You want everyone to be comfortable. When people need to “please pass the potatoes” it gets people talking to each other – a great way to encourage conversation. When you serve “family style” on large serving platters your guests are encouraged to have seconds or even just another bite of something.
- Plan your menu with food that doesn’t need to be a certain temperature – food that is perfectly fine served at room temp. If you’ve ever had a large group over for a meal and you’ve tried to make sure that the last person served gets food that’s as hot as the first person served you will know exactly what I’m talking about. This way the food can stay on the table as long as you and your guests are at the table (which you want to be a long time!) and still taste great.
- Make sure there is plenty of wine on the table for your guests to serve themselves. Don’t be precious with it – you don’t want to have rules about what is being poured when during the meal. Stick with bottles that are similar in flavor and body whether they are red or white – but make sure to have both opened. Leave those bottles on the table for easy refills by your guests. Be careful to not run out!
- Candles are key. Atmosphere is the quickest way to turn your dinner with friends into a real party and candles do that effortlessly. Use candles of different heights on your table and light them ALL. The lighting changes as your night progresses from fresh candles that are newly lit to a soft glow from those that burn the longest. Be sure to have a lot of them as they will burn at different rates – only some will last all night but that just contributes to the wonderful atmosphere you want to have.
I promise that if you follow these 5 simple rules your next dinner party will be a greater success than you could have ever wished for. Enjoy!