Dining rooms were once one of the most important rooms in the house – a place where families would gather for an evening meal and catch-up on the day.
However, as time has passed, many of us seem to have fallen out of love with our dining rooms. To inject a spark of life back into our unused dining rooms, Ocean loans challenged 15 bloggers to host a Come Dine with Me® style night with their friends or family.
Fancy taking on the challenge yourself? Here’s some of our top tips for hosting the perfect dinner party of your own:
1. Know your audience
If you’re not confident on what to cook, do a bit of research beforehand so you know what your guests do and don’t like. It will cause some awkward moments if you serve up meat to a veggie, bread to somebody who needs gluten free-food, or lobster to a friend that won’t touch shellfish!
2. Meet and greet
Depending on how formal you want your dinner party to be, greet your guests with a glass of something nice and maybe a small appetiser to welcome them in and set the tone for the evening. Your guests could get thirsty while you’re hard at work in the kitchen, so it might also be a good idea to leave a bottle or jug on the table so they can top up their glass whenever they want. Champagne or sparkling wine like Prosecco are traditional aperitifs – but, coming back to 1. (above), if your friends prefer beer then go with that.
3. Dining table décor
Every now and then, there’s that one person on Come Dine with Me® who forgets to hand out knives and forks – don’t be that person! It’s probably wise to set your table with cutlery and glasses before your guests arrive so you don’t have to faff around doing it while everyone is already seated. It might also be nice to decorate your table with placemats, flowers, candles and napkins.
4. Get the balance right
Try and get as much preparation done as you can before your guests arrive, so you can spend as much time with them as possible. Whether it’s chopping the vegetables, decorating the plates or seasoning the meat, the more you can do in advance, the better!
5. Relax and enjoy yourself
At the end of the day, you’re hosting your dinner party to have fun and spend some quality time with your loved ones - whether that be friends or family. Try not to let the stress of cooking or hosting take over the night. Everyone’s there to have a good time, so even if something does go wrong, your guests will be understanding so it shouldn’t matter much anyway!
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