Dinner Party Ideas: How To Hold A Dinner Party That Your Friends Will Love

Dinner Party Ideas: How To Hold A Dinner Party That Your Friends Will Love

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While socializing in the summer is all about exploring beaches, rooftop venues and city streets, winter requires a different strategy. Snow and freezing temperatures can make the prospect venture far from home to meet up with friends to seem less appealing. Fortunately, there is an easy – not to mention elegant – solution for those who want to meet friends during the holiday season and beyond, one that does not even require you to leave your home: the dinner party.

Hosting a dinner party can seem daunting, but with a little careful planning, it’s a breeze. The right strategy for putting together a dinner party involves putting together the right guest list, planning the menu, setting a table landscape and queuing the perfect mood and outfit.

This year I hosted an early holiday dinner party for six of my loved ones and took notes to give you some guidance. Below are my top tips and ideas on how to have the perfect dinner party – without the stress of the holidays.

STYLECASTER |  How to hold a dinner party

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Make a guest list

The first and most obvious ingredient for a successful dinner party is the guests. Six is ​​a perfect number. Four is nice and intimate, but less of a party and more of a group dinner, whereas eight risks spending the whole evening in breakout conversations next door.

You can, of course, improvise with numbers based on whatever you and your apartment can handle. If the guests at your party may not already know each other, consider making table cards that make room for people you think can get along next to each other. After all, there is no better place to trigger a business or romantic partnership than a dinner party!

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Stock your bar cart

Whether you serve wine, cocktails or non-alcoholic drinks, you want to make sure your guests have something to drink for dinner. If you serve a more solid meat, red wine can be an excellent pairing; fish and vegetables go well with white or rosé. In honor of the hot button Sex and the City restart, I served Sarah Jessica Parker’s new sauvignon blanc made in collaboration with Invivo X at my latest soirée.

If you serve cocktails, as low as Kin Euphorics founder Jen Batchelor and set up a drinks station so you do not have to worry about refilling glasses all night. “The key is to have at least one cooler on hand with ice water – and don’t forget a separate ice bucket for cocktails,” says Batchelor.

And do not forget a signature drink! “Getting at least one ‘house cocktail’ made goes a long way,” says Batchelor, who recommends a non-alcoholic sangria that allows guests to top it off with brandy or champagne. When it comes to cocktails after dinner, I choose espresso martini for a fun, festive twist on coffee after dinner – and as a tribute to espresso martini’s status as the drink of the year. Loverboy is ready-made in a can and keeps my parties going for hours.

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Prepare food for the cocktail hour

You will want something for the guests to eat while enjoying their drinks before dinner, to keep everyone in the right mood for dinner. A cheese and charcuterie board is a classic option that can be as extensive or simple as you want. A good rule of thumb is to have a mix of soft and hard cheeses with at least three options, plus a prosciutto or salami.

Round things off with biscuits or baguette – and if you want, add nuts, jam, mustard, grapes and gherkins. I usually make a great cheese and cold cuts and add sliced ​​vegetables and hummus to one of my vegan friends. And when in doubt, remember what all cozy hotel bars know: A bowl of wasabi peas has never hurt anyone.

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Make or order food in advance

Unless the thought of timing things out and cooking from scratch fills your heart with joy, then allow me to recommend ordering in for your first dinner party. And while you can always order from a trusted local venue, there is a way to make ordering more exciting than your traditional takeaway. I use Goldbelly, which collaborates with top restaurants and chefs from across the country to deliver ready meals from their kitchens to your table.

While it’s almost impossible to narrow down my menu when the options included Gramercy Tavern, Blue Ribbon Sushi and Russ & Daughters, I chose the iconic Israeli restaurant Taim for my latest dinner party, which offered plenty of vegan and non-vegan options alike. Pro tip: order just a little more food than you think you will need – you never know how long people will be stuck at the table. Plus, leftovers are never a bad thing!

And a few thoughtful details can always make your order feel more luxurious and homemade. I served She Wolf Bakery bread – the female supplier of many of my favorite Brooklyn restaurants – with Kosterina’s extra virgin olive oil and Italian balsamic vinegar straight from Greece along with dinner. After dinner, I ended the night by taking out some icing and asking my guests to help me decorate the gingerbread I had baked that afternoon while we sipped espresso martini.

STYLECASTER |  How to hold a dinner party

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Set Vibe

Preparing the table and your apartment before dinner should get you excited and in the mood for your party. Set the mood by lighting candles around the apartment – Maison Louis Maries 004 always burns in mine – and make a cozy, festive playlist. I made a playlist of holiday classics by Eartha Kitt, Bing Crosby and Noel Coward for my latest event, but you can create a mood at any time of the year with jazz or the always excellent playlists provided by Hotel Costes, which happens to be one of the best hotels in Paris.

Do not overthink it when it comes to setting the table. A simple white plate and bowl situation can be easily raised with beautiful placemats or napkins, like this delicious set from Camilla. A few tealights scattered in votives across the table will give everyone a lit inside glow, and a simple vase of flowers placed at one end of the table will bring something green in without making it impossible for anyone to see each other.

And while you can serve drinks in standard clear wine glasses, the colorful sets hand-blown in Poland from Estelle Colored Glass essentially eliminate the need for any other tabletop decor at all.

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Dress to Thrill

And finally, you need to consider your outfit. While the traditional dinner party advice is to dress comfortably in your own home, I say that dining / partying in allows you to put on your most beautiful, uncomfortable shoes and most daring tops and dresses without having to worry about your feet hurt or wardrobe failure happens far from safety. You have control over your look all night long and can always slip into something more comfortable if needed. Go big – you’re already home!

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