How to plan a dinner party


Hosting a dinner party

Entertaining at home is a lot more casual than it used to be, dinner parties are not so formal and having guests for dinner doesn’t have to be a formal affair. Check out our top tips for hosting a dinner party. 

Inviting your Guests

If its your first dinner party don’t invite too many guests keep it to 4 to 6 guests

Check if your guest have any dietary requirements so you can pick your menu to suit everyone and keep it simple for yourself. Our advice is to try and keep as many course the same as possible for you guests. For vegetarians we usually cook a starter and dessert suitable for both meat eaters and vegetarians and then swap out the main course for something different, so our meat eating guests still get to enjoy their main but it keeps it simple for your preparation.

Choosing your menu

With so many recipes available on the internet trying to choose what to cook for your dinner party can become overwhelming, themed menus help you focus reducing choices and guaranteeing that the flavours of your courses will go together well. Theming a menu helps you to decide, what to cook, drink and even how to decorate the table.

Don’t choose complex recipes, or if you do choose a complex recipe make sure you can do most of the cooking the day before so you are less stressed on the day. Simple recipes taste great, and the party is as much about socialising as it is about the food so keep it simple so you enjoy it.


Ideally use recipes you have cooked before, or plan in advance and cook the recipes the week before so you have tried them and know how to cook them. Cooking a recipe you have never cooked before for a dinner party is stressful again keep it simple cook something you feel confident in.

Balance the menu, balancing a menu is just looking at each course and making sure you have the right amount of freshness, fat, sweetness, sourness etc. If you have a rich main course, choose a light starter and a fresh dessert, don’t over face your guests make each course a different experience for the taste buds.


Pick your recipes carefully make it easy on yourself, hosting your dinner party should be a pleasure.

Plan your time

Planning your time might sound obvious but little things can take up a lot of time here is our list of things to think about so you don’t have a last minute panic

·        Everything in your meal doesn’t have to be homemade the supermarkets have loads of helpful shortcut products use them.

·        Once you have chosen your recipes write a plan of what you are going to do and when so you don’t forget anything.

·        Scan and print your recipes or copy them into a spreadsheet if you use a device for cooking. Alter amounts on your recipe as if you get busy you may forget to multiply up your ingredients.

·        Do your shopping list so you don’t forget anything

Presenting your food

Think about how you are going to present the food,

·        what plate are you going to use to serve the food, if you don’t have the right plate, borrow one or pop to the charity shop as they often have loads of large plates and bowls.