Inviting people to your home for dinner is one of, life’s simple pleasures. There is something exceptionally warming about feeding those that you love – especially during winter! As lovely as it is to play host for an evening, there are challenges that come along with cooking up a storm in the kitchen. People are bound to arrive early, and you’re almost guaranteed to invite someone who has at least one food allergy. It’s important that you keep your cool as you cook, though. If you plan your evening well, even when little things go wrong you should be able to handle it.
Rule number 1: Keep to a meal plan that you have practiced a hundred times before. If you know what you’re doing in the kitchen it will just flow naturally. Prep your ingredients and start cooking just before people arrive. It’s fine if people are milling about and you’re still making the meal – it just helps to create a relaxed atmosphere.
Rule number 2: Set up a drinks cart and let people help themselves. As much as you may want to be the ultimate host, by letting people help themselves it will just further help them feel comfortable and at home. A drinks cart is also a really fun thing to dress-up. Play with the presentation and add flowers and nibbles for something a little bit different.
Rule number 3: Not only should people help themselves to the drink, while you cook it;s a great idea to place some fresh crusty bread on the table. Letting your guests cut their own slices and prepare their own aperitive will give them a sense of purpose and help them feel involved.
Rule number 4: When you do decide to move everyone to the dinner table, it’s nice to lead them to a beautifully and thoughtfully decorated table. Monogrammed napkins and name cards will give the space a super special touch. By making people feel special and welcome with these little extras, you’ll guarantee a good atmosphere. They will also help to get the conversations flowing.
Rule number 5: Make sure you keep the dessert messy and indulgent. There is nothing more satisfying after the main course than an unexpected and indulgent pudding. Something super sweet and delicious will leave everyone with a last fantastic memory of your food. It doesn’t have to be particularly fancy, just something hearty and yummy!
Rule number 6: Don’t worry about the washing up until the morning. Once everyone has been fed it’s your time to relax, kick-back and enjoy the evening. The tidying up can wait! Don’t let any of your guests tidy up for you either. Keep the atmosphere very laid back and relaxed by creating no tidying drama. The chaos in the kitchen will keep until morning. After the meal put on some happy music and let everyone finish their evening with a little dance! Who doesn’t love to end a great evening out with a little dance!