There’s a reason we don’t all host dinner parties every week: They’re stressful, time-consuming, and hard work. Having a few friends over for dinner on a Friday evening is always so much more work than you imagined, no matter how well you know them, how little you are actually cooking, or how relaxed you want the evening to be. However, these dinner party hacks are here to help make hosting easier, resulting in a more elegant dinner party and a calmer, happier host.
If you don’t think of yourself as a particularly skilled or talented host, don’t despair. We’re not going to suggest that to be the ultimate host you need to start flambéing crêpes for dessert, offering a different wine in an ever larger glass to match every course, or handing round bite-size homemade hors d’oeuvres as soon as your guests arrive. Instead, we’re going to suggest that you buy hors d’oeuvres, let your guests fix their own drinks, and use washi tape instead of a napkin ring. Dinner parties don’t have to be super fancy to be the best, most enjoyable evenings.
Even though you’re not a professional chef or a practiced waiter, you can still host a perfect dinner party. It’s all about setting the right atmosphere, serving delicious food (which you should definitely have bought or prepared in advance — always try to cook as little as possible on the day and evening of the party), and having a fun time. All it really takes to succeed in being the ultimate host is serving simple but tasty food, creating a pretty setting, putting on a great playlist, and making everyone feel relaxed and welcome. Read on to find out our favorite tricks to host that perfect evening, saving you time, stress, and work in the process.