Now that you’re all moved into your new house, it’s time to show off your hostess skills in style. Serve up the ultimate dinner with these tips that are sure to keep your guests talking about it for a long time.
Your grandmother’s dining table would have matching everything—from dishes to silverware to glassware to napkins, everything would have been in perfect sync.
To add interest in unexpected ways, consider throwing out the matching mentality in favor of anything goes. Pretty, colorful dinner plates in every color under the sun, paired with an eclectic selection of mismatched antique serve ware and an assortment of napkins ranging in fabric and colors will bring vibrancy and life to your dining table.
Rediscover the Mix Tape
As a woman in your 30s or 40s, you will remember the mix tape from your youth. Mix tapes deliver the best of your favorite tunes in your favorite order.
Forget CDs or digital music that deliver songs based on genre alone. Get yourself one or two rewritable CDs and spend an hour burning your favorite MP3s. You can tailor the music to the ambiance that you want to create, and maybe even surprise your dinner guests with songs they may have forgotten were their favorites too. Don’t let the music interfere with the dinner conversation. Make sure you keep the volume at a level that makes good background music without forcing your guests to talk “over” the music.
One of the biggest mood busters of a dinner party is having guests who feel obligated to help clean up right after the last drop of coffee is drained.
Instead, have your furniture cleared away from the middle of your living room ahead of time. Turn up the volume on the music a tad and invite people to enjoy the impromptu dance floor. They’ll be inwardly relieved they aren’t expected to roll up their sleeves in front of the kitchen sink, and you’ll be able to put off the inevitable cleaning up until the morning, when you can reflect happily on your latest successful dinner party.
Spice Things Up
If you want to know how to make your dinner extra saucy, don’t be afraid to add some zest to a few of your dishes. As long as you let guests know which ones are spicy, you’ll be safe.
Dinner guests always appreciate options. Instead of playing it safe and keeping all your dishes on the bland side so they appeal to everyone, offer one or two items that will appeal to the minority of foodies. You may even convert a few die-hard, “non-spice loving” eaters who can’t help but taste and enjoy the spicier dishes.
Provide More Than Food
Good food and friendly conversation only goes so far in bringing people to the table and keeping them coming back for more. The ultimate dinner party will provide a lot more than food.
When you’re making up your guest list, keep in mind your friends’ needs and wants. Do you have some single friends? Consider inviting other single guests of the opposite sex who may add an element of sexual tension to the dinner party. Do you have friends who are looking to network? Be sure to include guests with diverse backgrounds who may have something of value to offer those with projects to pitch.
When your guests go home with something more than a satisfied appetite, they’ll be sure to think highly of your hostess abilities.