Hosting a party is like anything else, the more you devote yourself the better it gets. Most likely, you already have friends come over and there is nothing better than people you just enjoy spending time with and can talk for hours over coffee. If you enjoy having people over for dinner, now is the time to take hosting to the next level.
Here are a few ideas and pieces of inspiration for your grand summer party. The goal is to make it as nice as possible, give your guests a great time and be proud in your role as host. You have to make a big effort to make everything as nice as possible and your guests will make an effort by dressing up. This work and good intention is what makes a party special.
Image credits: @cifonelli_official
First things first, decorations. A large table with a white tablecloth is where most good parties are born. If you set the table with precision, then just the repetitive pattern of plates, cutlery and glasses will look quite impressive and professional. The easiest way to create a nice atmosphere is to add candles and beautiful flowers. Then you need only think of music that you like and which suits the style of your party. You can also make little cards with assigned seats if you want to give a formal feel to your dinner.
After good company, a dinner is about food. If you are not very comfortable in the kitchen, quality takeout is the perfect opportunity to alleviate your stress. However, if you love cooking and think of yourself as an overlooked Michelin chef, it is possible and satisfying to cook for many people if you plan it well.
Think of dishes you can prepare in advance, serve cold or finish in the oven before serving.
Here is an idea for a menu that only requires 5-10 minutes of plating per course and where you can do the actual cooking in advance.
Starter: Smoked salmon with roasted broccoli florets
Main: Braised pork belly with spicy marinade & roasted root vegetables. Dessert: Salted caramel ice-cream with roughly chopped roasted almonds.
If you want to be more present with your guests, it is a great option to hire a waiter for a few hours. They can come for just a few hours where they can plate and serve the prepared food. Once you have had dessert, the waiter can finish cleaning the kitchen and you have peace of mind for just a few hours wages.
Once the dinner is over, it is time for drinks. Keeping it simple is often the best way. Try to serve wines throughout dinner and then have one or two cocktails premixed for afterwards. You can supplement your cocktails by buying ingredients for common cocktails if anyone wants to fix their own martini, or you can serve a selection of spirits that don’t need mixing, like good whiskey, cognac or strong cherry wine.
Making an evening special is more to do with the mindset than the food, drinks and decorations. Make sure that you and your guest are in the right mindset and know that they are invited to a special dinner.
Make this clear with the way you all dress. If you like, you could suggest a black tie dress code where people will have an occasion to wear their favourite clothes. You can also suggest people to dress “Summer Chic” or any other theme you like, as long as it will set this evening apart from the rest.
That is our goal with all this effort, making something good into something great.