Good conversation accompanied by some lovely food and drink is a great way to spend an evening. Although visiting a restaurant can be very enjoyable, there is something even more appealing about hosting a dinner party. It’s a great way to make friends and acquaintances feel welcome in your home, and you may feel slightly more relaxed when in familiar surroundings.
It’s also a brilliant opportunity to dress a bit more glamorously than you usually would or eat food that you wouldn’t usually have on a typical night at home. If you are keen to play host but aren’t quite sure where to start, here are 4 tips on how to throw a sophisticated dinner party.
Send out formal invites
Sending formal invitations is a great way to set the tone of your evening. There are lots of templates online if you lack inspiration or, if you want to go the extra mile, you can have them professionally done. Be sure to include your address and, assuming you want them to RSVP, a phone number.
It’s also wise to indicate how formal the dinner party is by including a dress code. The last thing you want is a guest turning up in formal dinner wear while everyone else is wearing casual clothing.
If you aren’t sure whether any of your guests have dietary requirements, ask them to contact you by a set date. It will give you time to consider alternative meals should they be needed.
A table setting can make all the difference
A nicely set out dinner table is a must when it comes to hosting a sophisticated dinner party. Tablecloths come in a wide range of colors and designs and, coupled with a table runner, can make a real statement. Matching cutlery should put on the table before your guests arrive together with napkins that compliment your color scheme.
Although paper napkins are fine, beautifully folded fabric napkins will provide a feeling of expense and luxury. Napkin rings are another way to add a touch of elegance to your table so, if you don’t have any, it might be worth getting some. Where possible, glassware should also match and should consist of both water and wine glasses for each guest. Check when laying these out that they are clean and fingerprint free.
Candlesticks make a great centerpiece or, if you prefer flowers, a table arrangement is another lovely idea. Make sure that it isn’t too big, or your guests may struggle to see each other across the table, which can be awkward and make conversation limiting.
The main event
A sophisticated dinner party needs sophisticated food, so if there is one area where you should splash the cash, this is it.
In terms of the main meal, if you want to impress, then serving wagyu beef is sure to do just that. Whether you opt for the more traditional Japanese wagyu or wow your guests with an American wagyu ribeye, both provide a flavor that is hard to equal, and neither will disappoint.
If you like the idea of serving fish as a main meal, then monkfish or lobster is a great choice. Neither comes cheap, however, so you must know what you are doing to make sure that they are perfectly cooked. For the freshest of fish, visit your local fishmonger and have a chat with them about what you need and how many guests you will be catering for. Lobster availability will very much depend on where you live, so don’t set your heart on it until you find out whether it’s in season. There are lots of recipes online for both monkfish and lobster, so spend a bit of time figuring out what you think your guests will like the most and, if needs be, have a trial run.
Starters and Dessert
For your starter course, scallops or king prawns are a great choice. Not only are they quick to make, but very light on the stomach and thus a great way to begin a meal. If you would rather stay away from shellfish, then why not considering serving a warm goat’s cheese and beetroot salad. It’s easy to create and tastes delicious too.
For dessert, it’s wise not to serve anything too heavy that will make your guests want to lay down and go to sleep afterward, so consider that when making a decision. From decadent cheesecake to light yet heavenly chocolate mousse, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding something that all your guests will love.