How to Host the Perfect Dinner Party

This is a sponsored post for Noosh Catering

There’s something so grown up and special about hosting a dinner party, isn’t there?

You’re entertaining your friends in your own home with great food and fancy wine. It’s exciting!

A special gathering like this calls for a bit of extra effort when it comes to planning – and even splashing out a bit, especially if it’s a celebration of some sort – so here’s your ultimate How To guide for throwing the perfect dinner party…

Group Of Friends Enjoying Outdoor Dinner Party

Note to self: invite this spunk to next dinner party.

The Guest List… Who to invite is so incredibly important. You want to have the right mix of people to create the perfect atmosphere – relaxed and comfortable with free-flowing conversation and laughter. Also, you don’t want to feel like you have to entertain a crowd of hundreds, so be mindful of the number of people you invite. It’s a dinner party, not your wedding!

The Drinks… Kick things off with a beautiful bottle of Champagne or a signature cocktail when guests arrive. One of my all time favourite cocktails is incredibly simple but delish: vodka, fresh lime and soda. You can jazz it up by adding cucumber and lemon too, which is so refreshing. Follow this up with wine to suit the meal.

Tip: if your guests ask if they can bring anything, suggest that they bring their favorite bottle of vino. This is a great way to ensure you won’t run out of drinks. Bonus tip: stock up on some cheap glasswear from Kmart or IKEA. If your friends are anything like mine, they get very animated after a few drinks and there are bound to be breakages. Save the Riedel glasses for a quiet night in.

The Decorations… If you’re throwing a party in honour of a birthday, engagement or some other equally exciting milestone, then by all means go crazy with the decorations! If your dinner party is for no reason other than getting some great friends together (and isn’t that reason enough?!), then pop out to your local fruit and veg shop and buy up some cheap and cheerful bunches of flowers that can be scattered throughout your home. Candles are another must, so place various sizes on your dining table and anywhere else you might find yourselves seated, such as the couch or your outdoor setting.

The Music… Never underestimate the power of music! It really helps to set the mood. Just as the right kind of music can lift the ambience, the wrong type of music can really put a downer on things. If you have the time and energy, create a playlist that runs longer than the length of your evening. Alternatively, find a fantastic internet radio station such as jazz or chillout or download a couple of fantastic compilation albums such as the Ku De Ta series.

The Food… If you’re anything like me, the idea of cooking for more than just my husband sends me into a panic. This is where I think it’s worth every penny organising a caterer (such as Noosh Catering). We had our engagement party catered and it was such a nice feeling not having to worry about what goes in the oven when or worrying about burning or ruining a dish. Plus you can take full advantage and have them prepare food you’d never dream of cooking yourself!

Enjoy! The main reason for hosting a dinner party is to have fun. Once your guests have arrived, relax and enjoy yourself…right alongside them. Forget about the mess that might be made, dishes that will need to be done and glasses that might break. Enjoy the fabulous company, relaxed atmosphere, great wine and delicious food you’ve put so much effort into organising.

And don’t forget – the best guests are the ones who bring the wine at the start of the night and help you tidy up at the end of the night!

If you live in one of my fave cities – Brisbane – and are looking for a caterer, look no further than Noosh Catering. For more information, visit their website and check out their Facebook page.

What are your tips and tricks for hosting the perfect dinner party?

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  1. workingwomenaus says

    I love entertaining and cooking, so dinner parties are always fun for me. The idea of a signature cocktail to start the night is a good one. I recently went to a friend’s DP & she had a lovely fruity cocktail to start off the night.

    My main tip is to make sure you know your guests dietary requirements. I’ve been caught out serving a meaty feast to a vegetarian! Fail! 😉

  2. says

    All those you’ve listed are important also to consider any allergies/food restrictions when it comes to preparing or even catering food. I seldom have people over for a dinner party. I had a rather “big” one with 2 other families joining us…that’s a total of 6 kids in my house! YIKES! Big clean up afterwards but it was well worth the catch up :)

    • Sonia says

      6 kids? Whoa! Totally agree with making sure you consider any allergies or restrictions – super important.

  3. says

    Oh I miss a good dinner party, fizz out a bit for us with kids, it ends up being just REALLY long lunches until the kids are driving us all so batty we need to head home. All in good fun though and I did do my fair share when hubby and I were kid free.
    But I never had catering which would have been awesome! I’m the one that cooks everything (even for someone else’s party!) and stays back to clean up every dish and crumb! lol
    Although I think I wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall at one of your parties, animated friends and breaking glasses… sounds entertaining :-)

    • Sonia says

      Really long lunches are fun too! You are the ultimate friend, by the sounds of things Kim – wow! Oh yes, our parties are quite entertaining to say the least…!

  4. says

    My trick was to marry the Welshman. He’s an amazing cook, tracks down really good quality ingredients and sources really good wine.

    We now tend to either book a babysitter and go all out – no point paying $100 for a babysitter plus cabs for a cheap and cheerful meal. Or we head over to friends in the mid afternoon, start off with wine & cheese, then eat an early dinner with the kids, getting home just before bedtime for Boyo. Works so well!

    • Sonia says

      The Welshman is an incredible cook! I love your philosophy on going out – may as well make the most of it.

  5. Reen says

    We used to have the best dinner parties BC (before children!) The meal was never anything fancy, more often than not it was a simple BBQ and yummy salads, but it was more about getting together with a great group of friends. We’d have amazing platters to nibble on pre dinner, loads of bubbly, and after the meal was finished, we would play Balderdash or Trivial Pursuit into the early hours of the morning. Loads of laughs and great memories. One night we hosted a murder mystery evening, we all dressed up and I even attempted to cook the suggested menu for the murder mystery. Another great night, highly recommend.

    • Sonia says

      Board games – YES! We have also been known to break out Sing Star or the Michael Jackson dancing game on the Wii…!

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