It’s one thing to have guests round, but it’s quite another to leave them truly “wowed” – especially when you start thinking about the clean-up afterwards!
Luckily, you don’t need to produce food of Michelin-star quality to win them over (although that does help, of course!) or turn your home upside-down to impress. In fact, you can elevate your dinner party to a professional level in just five easy steps…
1. Make their arrival special
As in all good restaurants, the five-star experience starts as soon as you walk through the door.
Greet your guests at the door with a big smile and offer to take their coats – you and your partner can tag-team here, to create a warm, convivial mood. Start the evening off in an entertaining space separate from the dining area, such as the living room, where people can mingle before being sat at the more formal dining table.
Offer an aperitif, such as bubbles or perhaps some mulled wine, to warm them up from the cold. Remember to have non-alcoholic options for the designated drivers, or anyone who doesn’t drink alcohol – and don’t just lumber them with fizzy pop; try something more elegant, such as sparkling elderflower served in a champagne flute, for example.
No need to worry about using your finest glasses, as the AEG Dishwasher has a glass basket to hold up to eight glasses, ensuring they stay safe and secure during cleaning.
Also lay out some posh party nibbles to whet your guests’ appetite. Olives and feta or homemade dips with crudités are great – or you can theme your nibbles in line with the rest of your menu. Talking of which…
2. Create a theme
It’s a nice idea to think of a theme for your evening – plus this makes it easier for you when deciding what to cook and how to dress the table. For example, if you do a Thai-inspired menu, you could decorate your dining area with orchids and fold your napkins into lotus-flower shapes for an elegant touch.
One failsafe route to go down is to create a seasonal menu. Using seasonal produce ensures your ingredients are fresh and will taste at their best – plus it will be cheaper for you too. So for winter, think game, turnips, parsnips and sweet potato, pumpkin, apples and cranberries, and you can decorate your table with pine cones, sprigs of winter berries and candles.
For more table setting ideas, check out our 5 dinner table trends every stylish host should try. And always remember to ask your guests’ dietary requirements before designing your menu.
3. Think about presentation
No matter what you cook, how it’s presented is key. A really simple addition can make all the difference. For example, add a drizzle of balsamic glaze, a sprig of fresh herbs, a grind of black pepper or a dollop of crème fraiche to starters or mains.
For desserts, decorate with fresh seasonal fruit, a sprinkling of powdered sugar or cocoa, or a sprig of mint, contrasting the colour of the dessert with the colour of the garnish.
Also think about your serving dishes. For example, serving pâté in a little pot, or ice cream in a spun sugar basket makes it that little bit more special.
4. Sort the soundtrack
Music is key to the atmosphere of a party, so be sure to organise a playlist beforehand. You don’t want anything too intrusive, so instrumental music is best, or soft acoustic versions. Check out pre-made playlist ideas on your streaming service for inspiration.
Be wary of the volume too – you want it loud enough to be able to hear it, but you also need to be able to hear each other! After all, a dinner party is as much about the people as it is the food.
5. Keep your kitchen spotless
If you have an open-plan kitchen/diner, you won’t want to have your guests eating dinner with a stack of dirty pots and pans just metres away.
The good news is an AEG Dishwasher is super easy to load thanks to its Comfort Lift technology, which enables you to gently slide and lift the lower basket upwards.
Plus you won’t need to pre-rinse if you use Fairy Platinum Dishwasher Tablets, so you can simply pop the dirty cookware straight in the dishwasher once you’re done with it, keeping your surfaces clear of clutter.
Now all you need to do is join your guests for a wonderful evening ahead!
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