Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Hosting a Dinner Party for the First Time

I am actually a little bit late in putting this post up as I hosted my little Dinner Party nearly a month ago now, but I guess it is better late than never. My parents went on a two week holiday and rather than having a crazy house party like back in the day I decided to host a themed dinner party for my lovely girlfriends. It started small with just food, friends and fun but then I got carried away on Pinterest and decided I had to go all out.

I went into Asda and The Range to pick up a few things and again went totally wild! Fairy lights, mason jars, fake flowers, beautiful bunting and white tables clothes later I was ready and armed with props and decorations. I went for a silver and white garden party theme but indoors obviously because come on I live in Edinburgh, we never have the weather for outdoor dining. I had the table set up in my conservatory, with bunting around the window and fairy lights to light the room up. The table was covered in a big white sheet, and I created a flowery centre piece reef with tea lights in mason jars entwined. I then through together a few make shifts menus and napkins. I also used little butterfly gift tags as place cards and slotted them into the forks, which I did think looked so cute. The whole table looked lovely and had a nice, simple, twinkly look to it, kind of boho wedding inspired. 

Of course the decor is important at a dinner party but what is more important is the food. There was no expense spared and my girls had a fully home cooked three course meal. To start we had chicken and veg kebabs with a selection of cured meats, bread, home made guacamole, salsa and hummus. It was nice to be able to help yourself and have a try of different things, and everyone was a massive fan of the salsa recipe, which was courtesy of a friends mum, it is so simple.

5 large tomatoes diced
1 red onion diced
a handful of coriander chopped up finely
2 table spoons of water
salt and pepper
mix it up
leave in the fridge to infuse for a few hours

We had a gorgeous chicken, chorizo and butternut squash risotto for main course which went down a treat. Did not realise how high maintenance risotto rice is, so next time I will be more prepared with boiled water and a wooden spoon. The recipe comes from my best friends dad and I must say I am yet to achieve his level of perfection with this dish, maybe a future post with Alan revealing the secret to the perfect risotto rice. Then for dessert my gorgeous friends took care of this, they really out did themselves with a fudge and white choc kinder bueno baked cheesecake they made themselves and a gorgeous pavlova with a raspberry compote.

Most of my friends were driving that evening which is pretty unheard of in our group but it meant I had to come up with an amazing non-alcoholic replacement. I decided to stick with good old ice water, but I infused the jugs with cucumber, lemon and lime. The water was so refreshing and perfect to accompany a big meal, we al felt quite posh sipping our infused water. 

The pastry chef herself modelling her baking talents

Top Tips for a Successful & Minimal Stress Dining Experience
  • Prep, Prep, Prep. Food, Music, Decor get it all sorted before an hour before your guests arrive. It will mean you have time to get glammed up and you are more relaxed the entire night.
  • Ask your guests to bring something whether its drinks, nibbles or a dessert. Let them take some of the stress from you, they will love to feel like they have contributed to the night too.
  • Choose a theme and get everyone to dress the part. Even if its just a colour or season it will make the night more fun and pictures will look great too. 
  • If you can't cook, order in and pretend you cooked. Who will even know and you can still go to town with the decoration. 
  • Be Creative rather than Spendy. Hit up Pinterest, it is a haven of ideas and inspirations. You will save loads of money and highly impress your guests.
  • Once the guests have arrived relax and have FUN! At the end of the day if everything goes wrong you can laugh at the disaster you have created and phone dominoes, no harm done.

1 comment:

  1. I love your table setting, so pretty! My sister did a dinner party recently, and she didn't prepare at all... Bought everything at the last minute, and it turned out well... interesting. I think organisation is key haha.