Some of us have watched Downton Abbey and admired the skill and detail in how they host their dinner parties. The precision and execution, as well as the planning looks almost like an ancient art to the modern day dinner party. There are some tips to be learned from them and though trying to create that atmosphere may seem out of place in the modern day, you can still have a formal dinner party without needing to own an elegant mansion.
With hosting an event, planning is important. Organize your dinner party before jumping straight into it and this starts with;
1.The Guest List
Take the time to think about how many people you plan to invite. It is generally advised that 8-10 people is enough. It saves on the budget and the amount is a lot easier to plan around. Avoid inviting people who will create hassle if you want a conflict free party and think about what each guest can bring to your party that will make it a fun evening.
No party is complete without them. Having a formal invitation can add a touch of style and elegance to your evening. They are also a great way to make your guests feel special. Sending out personal and customised invitations through email is now considered an eco-friendly approach is an easier way to RSVP. Send them out between two to three weeks in advance and ask your guests if there are any allergy issues (This will help in the long run with the menu.)
This, along with the food, is an important aspect of the evening. Decide on a colour theme and use flowers as a centre pieces. Use flowers that are in season and ensure that they are low enough so that guests can talk to each other across the table. Candles are an excellent way to compliment the flowers. Matching dinnerware is also a necessity. Traditional dinner parties opted for using fine bone china, so if you do have some, this is the time to use it! Also make sure that you do not over crowd the table with floral pieces and candles.
If you happen to invite people who do not like each other, this is where you can ensure they cannot cause hassle. Use place cards to do this, they also add a nice splash of colour as well as adding a nice formal touch. It is also a good way to introduce people who have not met and to ignite interesting conversations.
When planning the menu, keep dietary needs in mind. Prepare food on the day of the party to make sure it is edible in the evening. Keep the menu and food simple, people tend to enjoy home cooked food, rather than an elaborate meal. The same goes for the drinks, use red wine with meat, white wine with fish and champagne with dessert. Also, make sure the drinks are constantly topped up, no one likes an empty glass!
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By Harry Price – Harry Price is a promising young man with many talents, including painting and writing, among them.