There is something magical about a perfect dinner party. Ultimately the magic happens when a great group of people gather at your house for great food, wine, and conversation. Throwing a dinner party is my happy spot and brings me immense joy. It provides me the opportunity to share my passion for food, wine and entertaining with others and the happiness it brings to my friends is a wonderful feeling.
Several weeks ago, I threw a “Dinner at Tiffany’s” themed dinner party for long time friends. Thought it would be fun to expound on the iconic movie by continuing the classic blue theme for the dinner table along with 1960’s themed food on the menu. I even purchased small shiny tiaras for the ladies to wear.
Often, I get asked - how do you throw such perfect dinner parties? I am humbled by the question. It is an opportunity for me to get out “pent up creativity” that benefits my friends. I absolutely love making people happy through food, wine and entertaining. The key to great entertaining skills is planning, organization and creativity.
To kick off the dinner planning details, first step is to select a date and guest list. To ensure everyone enjoys the evening, ask about any dietary restrictions or food aversions to aide in your menu planning. To add a special personalized touch, create and print individual menus to add at each place setting. With the “Dinner at Tiffany’s” theme, I found plates that were in that iconic light blue along with little blue boxes with white ribbon filled with chocolate to place on the plates. I kept with the blue and white theme with simple white roses for the flower arrangements and accented with silver chargers for that glittery touch.
My best advice is to create a party planning preparation list that includes your menu, a grocery shopping list and what needs to be done before the party starts (e.g. – clean house, light candles). Planning and preparation are the key to a successful, relaxing, and fun dinner party. Two days prior to your party, go grocery shopping, set your table, determine your music playlist, print menus, and prepare any food items that can be made in advance. A day before the party, continue to prepare menu items, select, and chill wine, assemble floral arrangements, determine your outfit, and cross off completed items on your party planning list. On the day of your holiday dinner party, finalize any menu preparation, empty dishwasher, and trash, get yourself party ready 2 hours prior to dinner party. An hour prior to guests arriving, set the ambiance with lighting, open wine to let it breath, light candles on dinner table by using battery powered tea lights and light your favorite candles for that extra special touch. I am obsessed with Charles Ferris V candle – British expedition that is scented with cloves, tobacco, and mint tea.
Now that everything is prepared, have a glass of wine, or take a moment for yourself, so you are relaxed when your guests arrive. Greet each guest when the doorbell rings and let them know how excited that they are here and look forward to a fun evening. A special touch is to serve a signature cocktail to your guests to kick off the evening. A tradition at my house, it to take a “kitchen selfie” with my guests, so I can memorialize the evening. Cherish each moment, keep the conversation light and fun, and don’t worry if something is not perfect – no one will know except you.