Hosting a luxury dinner party can be an intimidating event, especially if it’s for a large number of people, or for a special occasion. You need to start planning far in advance if you want to make it a stress-free process – and unless you’re a super chef, it’s always advisable to hire caterers to sort the food. You should concentrate your efforts on the guest list, the presentation of your home, and organizing the night. Don’t forget that you’ll be required to look as smart as your guests, so you need to factor in time to get ready, and take a hand off the wheel while you get prepared.
Dinner parties are great fun: once you get the first few out of the way, the rest is plain sailing.
Vet the caterers
If you’re using caterers for the evening, always rely on first-hand, personal recommendations. If you’ve been to a party recently and enjoyed the food, ask for contact details. You could also speak to other people in your circle, and see who they use. Once you find a firm, ask for a tasting session and references, to ensure they’ll deliver what they’re meant to.
Give enough notice and details
There’s nothing worse than receiving an invite to dinner without all the relevant information. Your guests should know where and when they are expected, perhaps with a clue to when the sit-down meal will begin. If people can’t make the evening’s opening drinks, they might still be able to arrive for the main meal. Make a note of any dress code too. Most guests will know what to wear depending on the time of day and location, but it’s nice to be told and know that you’re getting it right.
Update your décor
If this is your first dinner party in a while, you need to make sure that your home is ready for visitors. If you’re not happy with the décor, then do something about it. Buy dining room furniture that reflects the grandeur of the room; living room furniture that invites relaxation and comfort. You may only open up a few rooms of the house, so don’t worry about redecorating everywhere!
Clean the house
Give your home a deep, intensive clean a few days before the actual event. This will give any cleaning smells enough time to disperse, so your home isn’t smelling of detergent when your guests arrive. Then, on the day of the event, use fresh flowers and scents, as well as open windows, to create a sweet, fresh smell.
Write a seating plan
The secret to pulling off an amazing dinner party, is getting the seating plan right. You need to look at traditional etiquette when it comes to seating people at the head of the table. If you’re familiar with all the guests, then you’ll find the job easy: you know who will get on with who. However, if some of the people are acquaintances or strangers, you might need to take a wise guess, and place them next to friendly, amiable individuals.