Food | How to throw a stress-free dinner party

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Throwing a dinner party for all of your family and friends sounds like a great idea in theory. But it can be full of drama and stress if not planned well. Here are our tips to a stress-free dinner party.

Good food, drinks and company. What is not to love about a dinner party? Well, there is the small thing of organising and cooking for so many people.

As host, a simple dinner party can turn into a complete nightmare. However, a few tactical moves and simple planning can help create a calm and fun night.

Here are our favourite tips;

  • Pick the right people

Choose friends that you know will get along. Doing this will ensure that the conversation will flow with no-one to stir heated debates and arguments. You should also consider choosing people who are less demanding when it comes to food offering as you don’t want to spend your entire time cooking a multitude of dishes.

  • Cook what you know

Don’t use a dinner party as the opportunity to try and impress with a fancy new dish.  Make dishes that you have cooked before and are comfortable making. Avoid foods that involves to-order cooking, such as steaks, and dishes that involve constant stirring, flipping, or checking.

  • Plan well and do the hard work first

Plan the menu strategically. This means avoiding dishes that require last-minute preparations, recipes with long preparation times etc. Try to get as much work as possible out of the way ahead of time. For example, chop the vegetables the day before and make baked desserts a few days prior to the party. Do the small things like setting the table the day before as well.

  • Delegate and set the tone

Friends and family love to showcase their own culinary efforts. If they offer to bring a dessert, take them up on it. Set the tone from the start that it is a casual and fun night. You can do this by having a chilled music, candles and party games.