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Eight Tips On How To Host The Best Dinner Party During Lockdown

Social distancing has had everyone on lockdown for the past three months, but luckily as the policies continue to relax, the public will gradually be able to see friends and family again. Many families are gearing up for the summer months with dinner parties to fill the time as overseas holidays have been put on hold. Quarantine has created a desire to get out of your own house, do something social, and make the most of the good weather. But what is there to do? Dinner parties are perfect for this season. You can see friends and family in the comfort of your own home without having to worry about wearing a mask. Throwing your own dinner party can be daunting. Still, the easiest way to accomplish the perfect get-together with friends and family is to follow the steps provided below for a simple, stress-free, and affordable dinner party. So if you’re wondering how you can make your comeback dinner party a memorable return to social normality continue to read this article!

Choose A Theme

Of course, having themed dinner parties is not a new idea in itself. However, a night where everyone is in fancy dress never fails to bring added excitement to the occasion. You could decide to make it a circus theme, encouraging guests to come dressed as magicians or acrobats, or perhaps 1920s American prohibition theme where you serve illicit “moonshine” (this can be any drink of choice). The theme could be based on a game you and your friends or family like to play, such as Dungeons and Dragons or Cluedo, or even based on films such as Pulp Fiction or Harry Potter. With this extra element, you and your guests can immerse yourself in an evening of getting into character and eating dishes inspired by your chosen theme.

Create A Food & Cocktails Menu

Planning is essential, it allows the dinner party to run as smoothly as possible, and creating small tasks to aid the process can reduce the anxiety caused by planning your own event. The main focus of a dinner party is food, start by creating a menu. What foods appeal to you and your guests? Make sure to include food everyone can enjoy and remember that multiple trips cannot be made to the supermarket. The food chosen should complement each other, choosing recipes based on a theme, culture, or dietary requirement is the best way to ensure that each dish is complimentary. After food comes drinks, make sure to stock up on both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Cocktails and mocktails are a fun way to give your guests a variety.
When planning your dishes, why not centre it around a particular country’s national dishes. By taking your guests to another period or place, you can have fun while also learning new things about different cultures and societies. Perhaps you’re thinking about recreating your Polish grandmother’s potato pancakes. Why not go further and create a menu inspired by all Polish dishes? Also, indulge your guests’ senses with Polish music, to give them a taste of all the amazing elements of your culture. As an alternative, if you have dreamed of going to Chile, or maybe one of your guests is planning on going on holiday there, you could transform your dining space into a Chilean restaurant, with Spanish written menus and rich Chilean wines. For all you history buffs, how about time travelling back to a period of history you really enjoyed at school? Maybe Greek history took your interest. Why not dive deeper into your classroom intrigue by doing some research into what they ate, what they wore, and what type of leisure activities they were partaking in. Go the whole hog!

Prepare Meals Or Make It A Competition

Once you have decided what you want to cook and what drinks to provide the next stage is meal prep. This includes cutting, defrosting, cleaning, and marinating any food items. Once you have all the ingredients needed, look through the recipe at any stage that you can do before you start cooking and have these prepared and put away for later. Meal prep has many benefits; cooking a large amount of food can be overwhelming due to the number of stages you have to do. By doing the simple tasks earlier in the day, you will have more time to cook the food, leaving you less flustered and more relaxed when guests arrive. Another fabulous way to make your dinner party stand out is by inserting a competitive element into your night. Aside from dress competition, why not make it a ‘Come Dine With Me’ inspired event? Ask your guests to each makes a dish, as well as maybe bringing a small sum of money or a gift. At the end of the night, everyone votes for the dish they liked the most using a points-based system. Whoever gets the most points will take home all the gifts or money. Make sure you go heavy on the dramatic reveal – tense music crucial. A bonus to this idea is that you don’t need to do all the cooking, so that’s half the effort of hosting a dinner party gone!

Clean Up As You Go

Remember to clean up as you go that goes for the kitchen, and any areas the guests will be. One method for organised cleaning is to follow where the guests would go, starting from your hallway and then expanding into the other rooms. This means you will systematically clean all areas your guests would frequent, leaving no surface untouched. Cleaning as you go saves time for you to get ready and be presentable for guests. Sometimes guests entering your home can cause anxiety, you may worry about if they like your home or if they think it is messy. Cleaning as you go will avoid a rush at the end.

Make An Entrance

When your guests arrive, it’s essential to make a positive impact on arrival. You can start with evoking their scents by turning on background music, turning off a few lamps, and lighting candles with a natural fragrance to lift their mood, energise, and fill your home’s entrance. A good idea to use the power and beauty of natural flowers to make your tablescape and add a delicate feel to the dinner table. Put some bouquet in glass vases and place them all over the table, which will help to revitalise your interior. To hold together a nice evening with your close ones, consider setting the table and make sure that it’s as beautiful as the food. You can bring summer into your home with a bright and bold tablecloth. What’s more, candles, placemats, and homemade menus will make it feel special and add that finishing touch.

Add After Dinner Entertainment

Once you are all full, you can complete a perfect dinner party with some entertainment! If people are feeling lively, you can make the night even more exciting by having a fancy dress competition. This added incentive will most definitely encourage guests to really go all out on their costumes. Have fun together by playing party classics like Truth Or Dare, Never Have I Ever, Charades, Who Am I, or Pictionary to have your guests laughing and bonding with each other. You can also throw a beer pong, karaoke and dance night, or host a quiz, which are sure-fire ways to spend a great time together, move a little, and learn something new.
Finally, you can take your party to the next level and loosen up the guests by bringing board games, Jenga, Twister, or any game you may have at home. A good idea to retire to the sofa for a themed activity such as re-watching your dinner party film, playing video games, or any entertainment that you like to do with your friends. The possibilities are endless with this one, so go wild!

Pay Attention To Your Well-Being

The last step is about you and your general wellness. Being the host means all the attention is on you; you are the most critical factor of the dinner party. Some people may find this easy to have conversations throughout the whole evening when they are in their element. However, others may find this draining as being in a crowded environment is known to cause anxiety. Social anxiety is a common issue many people deal with, and this can be heightened when you are the one hosting. If you have problems with anxiety or focusing, CBD is a useful component to look into. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychoactive and non-addictive component found in cannabis plants. It will not influence your state of mind or cause hallucinations, so do not worry; your guests will not notice a distinct change. Taking CBD oil allows you to focus by triggering an increase in the flow of serotonin to your brain. It also helps curb the levels of cortisol – a stress hormone. Subsequently, this reduces anxiety, allows you to relax and focus on the task at hand. CBD can be taken straight as oil or added to food or a non-alcoholic drink, in 10-15 minutes the user will feel more relaxed and at ease, relieving you of stress and allowing you to be the perfect host.

Be Flexible & Have Fun!

Dinner parties can be very sophisticated get-together. They are occasions in which your nearest and dearest or long lost school friends are brought together under the union of exciting dishes and good drinks. They are an opportunity to impress your friends with your culinary skills in a relaxed and familiar environment. However, this dinner party will admittedly be more about the fun and games than the food and drinks, but don’t let that make you complacent in the kitchen. Burnt dishes may sour the tone of the whole evening. Prepare for a night of laughs and excitement and remember that this dinner party is about having fun and catching up with loved ones that you haven’t seen this quarantine. There is always room for mistakes, and they could even make for good stories to tell at the next dinner party. Keep in mind: if the host is stressed and isn’t having fun, your guests won’t be having fun either.