I am excited to kick off part one of the perfect dinner party series!
A perfect dinner party is not too big and not too small, runs pretty seamlessly and allows you plenty of time to have a great time yourself.
I simply love to entertain, bring people together, feed them (!), and make lasting memories and connections.
This series will include three parts: the preparation before the party, cocktails & basic decor; cooking and serving the party itself; and dessert & post-party rituals.
The worst thing about modern city life is how incredibly busy everyone gets and how quickly schedules fill up. So, whether you are doing so by mail or email, I think it is best to send out invites at least ten days ahead of time.
That will also give you enough time to plan how much food and drink you will need to buy and prepare.
I have to admit that I am partial to the hand-written invite, but it’s so easy to print invitations these days too and make them look extra special.
Drinks & cocktails
People tend to bring a bottle of wine for the host or hostess, which is wonderful, but do give them some guidance on what to bring, if they ask, whether it’s simply your favorite or something that will pair deliciously well with the meal.
It’s also nice to be ready to greet your guests with a signature cocktail to kick off proceedings while everyone catches up or gets to know each other (this all happening while you may also be putting some finishing touches on things in the kitchen).
Here is one of my favorites – a classic bellini with a little rose twist.
Provide some simple snacks as well. Pitted (!) mixed olives, crackers, and sweet & salty cocktail nuts with herbes de provence are easy crowd pleasers.
Seasonal, fresh flowers are an absolute weakness of mine. They spruce up any room and any occasion.
Arrange them simply, paired with edible plants or berries to match elegant glass and table settings.
Stay tuned for the meal… part two coming up soon!