5 Ways To Make a Big Impression at Your Next Dinner Party

Remember the days when throwing a get together with your friends amounted to little more than getting a few bottles of cheap cider, a dozen cans of lager and a big bag of twiglets or cheesy Wotsits? When you find yourself eschewing these boozy get togethers for a fully fledged dinner party it’s a sign that, despite yourself, you might just be turning into a proper grownup. A dinner party can be a wonderful way to catch up with old friends, meet the new girlfriends or boyfriends of people you love, and create the fuel for dozens of reminiscences in-person and online for years to come.

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Still, first impressions count. Even when you’re catering for old friends. Get it right and your dinner parties will be the stuff of legend. Get it wrong and you’ll draw unflattering comparisons to Bridget Jones and her blue soup for years to come. Here’s how you get it right...

Remember that the first bite is with the eye

No matter how sumptuous the food you serve may be, never forget that the first bite is with the eye. Presentation is every bit as important as taste, texture and aroma. That goes for your food but also for your table setting. Splash out on some restaurant quality napkins by Richard Haworth, some candles and a floral centerpiece. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you’ll find that the little things can make a big contribution to your dinner party’s wow factor!

Make sure you know dietary preferences well in advance


The last thing you want is to embarrass your best friend’s new vegan beau by serving them a big chunk of medium rare steak. Or to forget about your cousin’s gluten intolerance and have to watch him squirm away in his seat after you’ve served the soup course. A little forward planning goes a long way.

Send out invites or evites as early on as possible or make a Facebook group for the event. Make sure guests get back to you with their dietary needs, allergies and intolerances so you can plan accordingly and nobody will need to bust out their epipen.

Just because you’re cooking doesn’t mean you can’t get glam

Yes, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen amidst heat and steam, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t love the skin you’re in and use the occasion as an excuse to get your glam on. Remind your friends what a multitalented, ambidextrous yummy mummy you are!

Boss your timings and make time to mingle

Timings can make or break your dinner party. They can make all the difference between food being served at the right temperature or a little too cold, whether or not the wine has had time to breathe or whether slow eaters feel like they’re being rushed through their main course. Take a moment to plan your perfect timings and identify gaps in which you can mingle. The last thing you want is to miss out on your own event!

Enjoy yourself

Finally, as stressful as it can be, keeping so many plates spinning (not literally, I hope), remember that this event is supposed to be fun. If something goes awry nobody’s going to judge you or think less of you. It’s just something you’ll be able to laugh about later. If you’re not enjoying yourself… what’s the point?

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