A lavish dinner party is the perfect chance to gather your friends around, show off your home and culinary skills and hosting. If you want your night to be a success, however, there is a lot of planning that needs to be done well in advance. From invitations and planning the menu to decorating, there’s a lot of things to tackle before the big event. In this article we’ll give you the rundown on how to plan and prepare for a luxurious dinner party.
Send Out Invitations and Ask for RSVP
This might sound old-fashioned, but sending out formal paper invitations to your guest is going to give your dinner party an extravagant feel. It’s also a good way to ask your guests for any dietary requirements or allergies to avoid an awkward dinner situation. As well as that, having an idea of how many people are coming will make the whole planning process easier when it comes to creating the menu and arranging the seating plan.
Plan Your Menu Around What’s in Season
Once you know who is attending you can get on with planning the main event – namely the dinner. For a formal evening party it’s usually recommended to prepare a three-course meal with canapes and an aperitif. If you want to truly impress your guests, make sure you include seasonal ingredients.
This is a great way to express your culinary knowledge and ensure you will be able to source the freshest ingredients. With the seasons changing towards spring it’s a good idea to opt for a lighter menu with fresh seasonal veggies.
If you’re having trouble deciding how much food you should buy, it’s always better to get a bit more. This way you are covered in case anyone wants seconds and anything that doesn’t get eaten can be reheated for dinner the next day.
Create a Seating Plan
If you’re only preparing a small gathering with people who know each other relatively well, there is no need to go into such details as everyone will be happy to pick their own seats. However, if your party is bigger than about six people, you would definitely want to consider creating a seating plan with written name cards for everyone.
When deciding on the seating arrangement aim to achieve a balance by mixing old friends with people who have just met. This will help keep the conversations going and ensure no one is excluded from the discussion. You could also consider preparing a couple ice breaker card games so guests can entertain themselves while you’re in the kitchen.
Decorate the Table for the Occasion
You know how they say “dress to impress”? Well, if you wish to impress your guests, then you gotta make sure your table is set for the occasion. Put down a nice tablecloth and decorate your table with candles and an extravagant floral arrangement. If you have a certain theme to your menu, try linking the decorations back to the theme; for instance, if you’re serving an Italian themed menu, bring in Mediterranean vibes with colourful dishes and olive branches among the flower arrangement.
Make Sure You Pair Your Food With the Right Wine
What is a luxurious dinner party without a nice wine? To truly make a statement make sure you pair the right wine with your food. For light meats and fresh veggie based meals go for a white wine like Chardonnay or Viognier. If you’re serving red meats or heartier dishes, then a deep ruby red such as Pinot Noir or Merlot will be much better fit. If you want to take off some of the planning stress and save yourself some time you can get premium wines delivered straight to your doorstep.
Set a Dress Code
Of course a lavish party requires a dress code, you don’t want your guests turning up in tracksuits and t-shirts. Make sure you highlight the required dress code in the invitation and include examples of acceptable attire to avoid any confusions.