I dont know about you, but dinner parties have always felt so grown up to me. Having your friends over, everyone dressed up for the occasion, it just feels so special. Being able to spoil them with beautiful drinks and delectable food is always fun and creating a beautiful ambience just adds to the experience, and it doesnt always have to be over the top and extravagant. But for the purpose of this post I am going to give you tips to spoil your friends and family with a luxurious dinner party because it's what you all deserve.💫🥂
So how many guests should you cater for? 6-12 is a good, manageable dinner party number, however, we say whatever you are comfortable with depending on space and resources. If you are having your entire party catered and designed for you then the more the merrier. If not, we would say 4-6 is a perfect number to start with. It's always better to start small so you can enjoy the party and not feel overwhelmed. Also make sure to invite people that know each other so you don’t feel like you constantly need to initiate conversations and feel bad every time you have to leave the table to check on the food, etc. Always try for an even number of guests. It is believed that this ensures a successful party. 🔮🤣
"Don’t ever wait for a special occasion to celebrate, being alive is the special occasion!"
Ok, so the main reason everyone is over is to eat—and drink obviously.🤣 Many times people focus more on how the dinner table looks that the food ends up being an afterthought! They are both equally important but don’t compromise on food because you spent all your time setting the table! If you cant be bothered with the cooking, get a private chef to come in and prepare it for you. You can either choose a menu with them or leave it all up to them. I prefer to be more involved than that but everyone is different. A good idea is to always find out about your guests dietary requirements before you start and always have a vegetarian option, just in case.
Good menu ideas to keep in mind are:
If you prefer to do the cooking and catering yourself then you need to be extra organized. Try choosing an entree that can be prepared in advance and put in the fridge and warmed right before serving if necessary. A beautiful salad could also work or a prawn starter could be prepared and put in the fridge and served later. A soup is also a good idea for colder nights.
For mains, a protein that can be cooked low and slow always works wonders. Something like individual lamb shanks, or otherwise something that can be marinated and cooked quickly like a fillet. Remember to always ask your guests how they would like their steaks cooked. Add some roast vegetables and potatoes or creamy mash and a delicious jus made from the meat sauces.
For Dessert, a homemade ice-cream and chocolate fondant are my favourite, but you could make brownies in advance and warm them up—topped with a really good quality vanilla gelato, or make a delicious pannacotta in advance and top it with a homemade raspberry coulis.
Anything is possible if you prepare in advance! 🤣😋 Take special care when plating as the food needs to look appetizing as well. Arranging everything beautifully and making sure no sauce has run or splattered all over the plate goes a long way for the fine dining experience. Obviously your guest don’t expect restaurant quality plating but it won’t hurt to try.😉
Another tip is to serve dessert away from your table. Light some candles outside and move your guests onto the patio to enjoy their dessert. It can get rather tiring sitting at a dinner table for hours, so ensure some fresh air and new conversation to enjoy the rest of the evening by moving outside. A change of scenery allows everyone to speak to people other then those sitting close to them. Remember to offer a choice of espresso or cappuccinos with your dessert and top up everyone’s drinks. Later on when everyone is feeling peckish while playing a round 30 Seconds or charades, bring out your charcuterie or cheeseboard🧀🍖 !
It's a night for processo or champagne, your choice.
Nothing beats a champagne cocktail bar. Dress it up with garnishes and mixes or just serve it straight out the bottle. It’s your choice, either way it’s still delectable. Have a few bottles of non-alcoholic beverages for those who don’t drink. Don’t forget to add a few bottles of sparkling water as well. Add garnishes such as fruits, edible flowers and candy floss to adorn the glasses.
Having syrups, cordials and mixers added to your cart is great for guests, they can experiment and make their own mixtures.
Another idea would be to match your champagne cocktails to your courses. You need to have a stunning drinks cart filled with champagne coupes and glasses, beautiful glass bowls with all your garnishes, ice trays filled with ice cubes adorned with petals and strawberries; and don’t forget cocktail stirrers and cordials.
This might all sound like a lot, but don’t worry, we can take care of it all.
A beautiful white linen table cloth is completely underrated. Add a variety of glassware, your good crockery and silverware (they deserve it) and white napkins… Oh and dont forget some beautiful dinner candles—that for me is ultimate, understated glamour.
Sometimes you want more then that, sometimes you want Extravagant. Touches of gold or silver can really elevate the tablescape, this can be added in your silverware or rims of your glassware as well as with vases and candles and candlesticks.
Flowers... Oh, how gorgeous. The scents you get as you sit down at a table covered in flowers is incredible and really add to the experience. You could choose to stick with a simple colour and keep it classy or have beautiful small vases of a variety of colours and sizes to bring some fun and energy. I like keeping vases shorter on a dinner table so they are not in the guests eyeline and that everyone can talk and see each other without distraction. Add dinner candles as well as small tea light candles to bring a very intimate feeling. Everyone feels at home and relaxed and as if you are all in this beautiful, illuminated, ambient bubble.
Personalized name tags are a small touch to make everyone feel special. Menus are also a good idea to add some extra sparkle and get everyone excited about the courses ahead.
If you have trouble setting the table, it is easy to google a table setting. I normally opt for a formal table setting leaving the coffee cups out as it takes up space on the table. It’s easier for the cups to be in the kitchen already when you send freshly made espressos out with dessert. A formal table setting example is added for you in the gallery but feel free to use your creativity and change it up as long as the lay out still makes sense for a fine dining experience.
It’s important to remember to make sure your chairs are comfortable and there is enough space between each guest. No one wants to spend the whole night eating with their elbows pressed against their bodies or a hard chair that just needed a cushion. If you don’t have a big enough table or enough chairs, rather rent a table and chairs for your guests to be comfortable. Better yet, get a design company to take care of it all, from tables and chairs, to linen, napkins, flowers, candles and menus. Gaia Event Design can do it all and leave you to enjoy your party with your guests. From coordinating with the chef to delivering all your decor and drinks, we have you covered. 🕯💫🌹
Also, paper napkins have no place at your dinner table, please! This one small thing makes a huge difference, if you dont have napkin rings tie a knot in them and put them on your plates or fold them neatly under your side plate.
Some soft music playing in the background is a must. Choose a quick playlist before your guests arrive, can be upbeat or more chilled depending on the crowd. Just make sure its not to loud so no one has to scream over it to talk to eachother. Here's a playlist to start you off:
We hope you spoil the special people in your life with a beautiful dinner party to celebrate life soon! And remember:
"Always keep a bottle of Champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes, the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of Champagne in the fridge."
Love the Gaïa Girls💫✨ xxx
Posted in Celebrations on Feb 21, 2020