1. Take time to research the perfect recipes
Sounds self explanatory, but hands up how many of us have invited people over, only to realise you’ve forgotten to defrost the chicken… leaving the estimated eating time of tonight’s roast at approximately midnight. If you want to avoid digging out the take away pizza menu… plan ahead, pick something foolproof and delicious, and always cater to the tastes of your guests. Do some of them hate spicy food? Perhaps leave your Punjabi curry speciality for another night.
2. Set the mood
And that means music. It’s all about setting the perfect atmosphere from the moment your guests walk in, to when they roll out full of delicious food and wine. Light, chill out music is always great to begin with, but by the time everyone’s finished their meal, ramp it up a bit with some faster beats and more familiar tunes. Depending on how many wine bottles have been devoured, a mini dance floor may form.
3. Platter up
There’s $100 for anyone who can think of a better combination than cheese and wine. But seriously, an epic cheese platter full of plenty of colour and texture is an easy way to impress your guests from the moment they walk in. Step one is to invest in a great looking cheeseboard; whatever shape tickles your fancy. Next, regardless if you’re a cheese connoisseur, or you don’t know your Gouda from your St Agur, head to your local deli. We guarantee they’ll be happy recommend the best cheeses according to your tastes. Then, sprinkle the board with different coloured fruits such as berries and grapes, as well as nuts. And don’t forget crackers; make sure there’s plenty to go around, as guests will enjoy picking at it all through the night.
4. Think of the neighbours
We’ve all been there. An important meeting/date/appointment is scheduled the next day… the neighbours refuse to switch off heavy techno… it’s 4am. Sound familiar? The result is either a passive aggressive note, a call to the cops, or a frosty friendship. Don’t be those neighbours, always be considerate. If there are more than a few people coming over, why not let your neighbours know in advance so they can organise to head out that night? Otherwise, keep the noise contained to your four walls.
5. Don’t do it alone
Undoubtedly, as a solo-apartment owner, you’ve read the above and had a panic attack. Don’t stress! Dinner parties are supposed to be fun, so if you’re in a relationship, rope in your partner to help. Single? Ask a friend. You’ll need a hand moving furniture around, prepping food, entertaining the guests while you cook, and doing the dishes (which should always be done as you go to avoid a huge and unsightly mess at the end! It’s almost a point in itself!) Four hands will make sure everything is done quicker, easier and with less stress.
Lastly – ENJOY YOURSELF! Your friends are well aware you’re not Jamie Oliver. So eat plenty of food, drink plenty of wine, and if anything does go wrong remember it’ll make a great story one day.