Dinner parties are having their moment in the spotlight. While eating out is still as popular as ever, more of us have embraced the art of social dining at home since COVID came and changed the way we do things. We want to mingle with our close friends in the comfort and quiet of our own space, while showing off all the amazing new recipes we’ve picked up in lockdown.
So, how to make your dinner party stand out amongst the crowd? In a rotating roster of social dinners, even the joy of eating in with friends can start to feel a little routine. Spice things up and give your friends a taste of something refreshingly different with these dinner party ideas.
1. Have a theme
And stick to it! Themes are a fun and easy way to add a little excitement to your dinner party. Be as imaginative as you want here: the theme could be as simple as ‘Japanese food’ to something more complex like ‘Dress as your favourite celebrity and impersonate them at dinner’. Some other ideas are ‘Breakfast for dinner’ and ‘Deconstructed meals’. If you’ve gone for a food theme, don’t just base the main dish around it – go crazy with entrees, desserts, and even drinks on-theme! You might as well take the opportunity here to be a little creative yourself and enjoy the process. Another thing – don’t get caught up in trying to pull off a flawless meal! Dinner parties are memorable when they’re fun, a little messy, and very novel.
2. Go gourmet
Everyone likes to dig into a gourmet feast that uses lesser known ingredients, surprising combinations, and has a bit of a backstory. Spend a good amount of time prowling the internet or popular cookbooks for some fine dining recipes, and don’t be intimidated. Pick a dish, read over the recipe card diligently and carefully, and get to work making it a reality. Gourmet dishes can often seem tremendously difficult, but when broken down step-by-step, it’s much easier than it seems.
Have some fun in the kitchen, get creative with plating up, and introduce the dish to your guests as a chef would do in a fine dining restaurant. Food is infinitely more fun when it’s complex, carefully cooked, and has a backstory!
3. Eat while blindfolded
What if everyone ate the meal while blindfolded…? Shocking! Now there’s a way to infuse some excitement into dinner. Blindfolded meals are interactive and engage the senses in refreshingly new ways. Cook your meal, instruct each of your guests to pop on a blindfold once they’ve been seated, and then serve the dish. Have your guests try to guess what they’re eating and which ingredients have been used. After a few minutes of conscious culinary exploration, they can remove the masks and take a look at your meal. Prizes awarded to the person with the keenest senses! Blindfolded dinners are one of our most popular interactive dining experiences here at CHEFIN, and we can help you pull this off with a multi-course feast, complete with a private chef!
4. Prepare welcome canapés or drinks
Sometimes all you need to turn an event from great to spectacular is adding a small extra element. Try to organise a ‘welcome bar’, where your guests can be taken immediately upon arriving at your home. There you can serve them a welcome cocktail, a small canapé or hor d’oeuvre, or whatever tickles your fancy. Having a ‘welcome bar’ gives your dinner party an air of sophistication and lets guests congregate together with a drink while you can quickly duck back to the kitchen and continue cooking. This is an especially handy concept if you’re inviting people who may not know one another. Everybody loves to have something handed to them immediately upon arrival!
5. Decorate the space
Essentially, hosting a dinner party is like having your own restaurant for the evening. So why not go all out and decorate your space? Decorating your home is a quick and easy way to guarantee some “wow”s when your guests arrive. Hang up some fairy lights, buy some flowers, or hang garlands or streamers from the ceiling. Use a new tablecloth, try some different napkin folding techniques, and scatter some flower petals on the table. You can be as simple or as extravagant as you like, the key is to make your dining space a little different from the usual. This also shows your guests that you’ve really put some thought and effort into the dinner party, which makes them feel truly welcomed and appreciated in turn.
6. Hire a private chef
Because, why not? The ultimate way to make an impression at your dinner party is by… not cooking at all! Treat yourself and your guests to an intimate fine dining experience and indulge in a private chef. You can lounge around sipping cocktails and snacking on canapés while your chef gets busy preparing your meal of choice in the kitchen. Afterwards, the chef will serve and introduce the meal (which can be as multi-coursed as you like!) You and your guests are free to chat and interact with the chef, engage in banter, learn some cooking insights, and have some laughs. Some of our chefs have worked at top Michelin-starred restaurants from around the world, making for some interesting conversation indeed! After dinner, you can leave the cleaning up to us. How’s that for luxurious?
The dinner party experts, here to help
Want to offload some of the cooking, hire a private chef, or arrange for an extravagant grazing table at your ‘welcome bar’? Or maybe you’d like to find a slick venue, book an interactive dining experience, or order food from a cuisine that’s hard to find. Whatever you need, we’re the dinner party experts and we’re here to help. Get in touch with our team and we can help you book a private chef or organise your future dinner party.