Thought a dinner party was just cooking for your friends? Probably because it’s near the end of the month and you can’t afford to eat out. Oh how wrong you are. As any dinner party connoisseur knows they are so much more than that, throw a bad party and you’ll be the talk of the next one , ‘well I mean they started with a prawn cocktail, how 70s and then, it only got worse when we had to wait 45 minutes for pudding, Fred fell asleep.’ They’ll guffaw. Don’t let this happen to you.
When it comes to food, you want to prepare, winging it and hoping for the best doesn’t work. Plan what you’re going to serve and practise beforehand if you haven’t made it before, because whatever you’ve heard, believe us soufflés aren’t that easy to make. What you didn’t get your vegetables from Daylesford? Because along with everything else you’re going to be judged on your food as Tibb Jenkins from Tatler says. ‘No potatoes, no pasta: You live in pleather leggings. Boys should eat beforehand.’
Looking to impress, then go for a theme, you don’t have to paint your whole dining room to make it look like you’re sat in a jungle, nor do we suggest you use the cooking methods of the 1920’s for authenticity – because why would you do that? It could be as simple as a colour theme or using a country to inspire the dishes and using it to create extra little details and decorations as supper club genius Christabel says ‘People love, love, love nothing more than picking up on those little things that you have thought of.’
Stick to Simple Seating Plans
Let’s get this straight this is not an awkward speed dating event. So let’s not try to use this as the time to set anyone up by forcing them to sit together unless you really think they will get on. Etiquette leaders Debretts say ‘The traditional plan is the for the host and hostess to sit at either end of the table with the most important woman guest on the host’s right and the most important man on the hostess’s right’ or you know, the one you’ve got your eye on/want to befriend to get the business deal out of.
Over Order Alcohol
Alcohol can help in most situations: the fact that you somehow managed to burn the pasta, the disappointment when you sit down next to quite possibly the most boring person alive and most importantly it gets everyone talking. In a recent interview Alice Levine and Laura Jackson said the reason their supper club, Jackson and Levine has been so successful is ‘because their guests are inebriated’ – can’t argue with that. When it comes to knowing how much to drink – take lead from your host. If no one else is falling off their chair you don’t want to be that person.
Which games you choose to play will say a lot about how you want your party to go. Charades, Pictionary or trivia, means organised fun, you’re waiting for them to leave. Ibble Dibble, the After Eight game or Are You There Moriaty? You’ve consumed enough wine to not care that you end up with a smear of chocolate down your face or potentially a broken nose – being thwacked with a newspaper blindfolded needs at least some numbing from alcohol. You’ve got someone else in to provide the entertainment – you either can’t be bothered or want to show off.