Throwing a dinner party doesn't always have to cause anxiety. With the right amount of planning and a little knowledge, you can create an event that's a hit.
Request RSVPs and dietary requirements
When you send out the invites, make sure you provide a clear date for RSVPs. In an age where most people are food aware, it's a major faux pas to ignore dietary requirements. As such, make it clear that you're happy to accommodate unique needs.
Overstock on the items you need
Whether you're hosting your dinner party at home or at a restaurant, overstocking on the items you need is essential. This is especially true for wine. When you're placing an order with the restaurant your party is at, consider either creating an open bar tab or buying more wine than you think you need. This saves the embarrassment of running out.
Offer enticing appetizers and deserts
Once you're aware of who's attending and what their dietary requirements are, start thinking about appetizers and desserts. Today, creating gluten-free options is relatively easy. Vegans, however, are sometimes more difficult to cater for. While it's tempting to hope they'll feel happy with bland alternatives, this is essentially a snub. If you're struggling for ideas, ask your caterer to pitch some of their best creations before deciding on the menu.
Craft a winning table plan
When you're hosting dinner parties, taking a slap-dash approach to the table plan is a big no-no. Take a look at your guests and try to decide who will mingle well. Attempt to get a conversation flowing or encourage new acquaintances. You want people to walk away from your dinner party feeling as though they gained something from the experience.
Consider a sorbet course
While it may seem a little old-fashioned to refresh the guests' palette between courses, it's a charming trick that'll have them talking for days. The traditional French palette cleansers also combat heartburn, which means they're a great addition to any dinner party where there are lots of rich foods.
Make sure your wine pairing is accurate
You and your guests probably have your own favourite wines. However, as any wine lover knows, wine pairing is about much more than finding one you love and plonking it on the table. Either seek advice from a sommelier or ask your caterer.
With forward planning and advice from the right experts, you'll create a dinner party that'll have people talking for years to come.