Most of us who have watched the hit Channel 4 show, ‘Come Dine with Me’ would admit that it’s the silver tongued narrator, Dave Lamb who makes the show such compelling viewing! But we could all learn a thing or two from the show and from traditional English society when it comes to throwing the perfect dinner party. Follow these tips and your next dinner party is sure to be the talk of the neighbourhood!
Dress to Impress
Now, I’m not just talking about yourself, but about your home and, perhaps most importantly, the table! Of course, you want to be immaculately groomed and wearing your prettiest dress or smartest suit; but if your table isn’t up to scratch then there’s just no point. Whether you decide to go for a contemporary or classic table style for your dinner party will depend in part upon your taste but also upon the style of your home. A traditionally dressed table could look out of place in a brand new build apartment in the heart of Manchester.
Work with What You’ve Got
If you live in the countryside and have a big, rustic dining room that’s cosy, with a traditional oak table, then hark back to the past for a stylish, eye-catching table setting. Consider purchasing traditional silverware for your table, if you don’t have some already. Whilst you can pick sets up at antiques markets or dealers for a fairly reasonable price, bear in mind that silver does need to be polished to look its best! A cheaper alternative nowadays is to go for Silver Plated Tableware which doesn’t tarnish and never needs polishing. Silver Plated Tableware looks stunning on a crisp, white tablecloth; whether you go for traditionally styled serving dishes and accessories or some of the more modern options available, such as Asian serving dishes with matching cutlery. Of course, to complement your crisp white cloth and sparkling silver tableware, you need white crockery. Keeping the whole theme traditional, light and fresh in hues of white and silver is a great way to make your table feel clean, elegant and refined. Choose silver or white napkins, with matching silver plated napkin rings and perhaps a glass bowl or spray of flowers in white and silver tones, or why not consider silver plated candelabras.
When cleaning your home for visitors, make sure that you’re meticulous; clean areas that are sometimes neglected, such as the tops of picture frames, staircase bannisters and so forth. Don’t forget to clean your kitchen! Whilst you’re planning on cooking alone for your party, ‘helpful’ friends and family may wish to get involved, or come through for a drink and there’s nothing worse than your guests seeing a grubby kitchen when someone is cooking a meal for you! Of course, there is going to be the inevitable cooking mess, but the rest of the kitchen should be clean and tidy.
Plan your Menu Wisely
If ‘Come Dine with Me’ has taught us anything, it’s that planning your menu is critical to the success of any dinner party! Try to find out what your guests like and dislike; are there any in the group with special dietary requirements such as vegetarians or those with allergies? If you’re creating a separate dish for your vegetarian friends, then make sure it is imaginative! Nobody wants to be sitting down to a cheese omelette and green salad when everyone else is tucking into a luxurious lamb shank in red wine with all the trimmings! Experiment with recipes such as nut roasts and vegetable bakes that utilise herbs and spices for flavour.
The most important aspect of any dinner party is the hosting; ensure that you plan everything in advance so that you can relax and have fun on the night! Don’t drink too much, cook tried and tested recipes rather than experimenting with something new and you’re sure to have a fabulous dinner party that will impress friends and family.
Aimee Coppock is a blogger who often dreams of throwing her own fantastic dinner party. She recommends that when putting on your own dinner party, it is important to use your finest silver plated tableware and to clean everywhere before your guests arrive.