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AUTUMN HAS ARRIVED; EVERYONE’S BACK FROM THE HOLIDAYS AND IT IS TIME FOR BIG CITY INHABITANTS TO OPEN UP THEIR SOCIAL CALENDARS. THE BEST FORMS OF SUCH GET-TOGETHERS ARE DINNER PARTIES: FROM THE MAJOR SCALE OFFICIAL TO THE FRIENDLY AND INTIMATE, THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO SEE FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES. IN ORDER TO HELP YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENT, THERE ARE ONLY SEVERAL DO’S AND DON’TS OF HOSTING A NICE SOIRÉE.

 

 

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1. Invitation and RSVP

 

A formal invitation card is a must before an official dinner event, however, even if it’s just a gathering of a few close friends, it’s nice to receive a printed invite. Generally it is sent about 10 days before the event; in case of a formal dinner party it should be 3 weeks. The invitee should ideally respond within two days, and this is also the best time to let the host know about any allergies or food dislikes.

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2. The secret is in the planning

 

You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches if you are planning the menu well in advance. Another lifesaver is if you don’t intend to present a 7-course gourmet menu for the first time in your life – you’d better stick to some home cooked greats, and gratify your gourmet creativity in the appetizers, as side dish or in the dessert. Try to prepare as much as you can the day before the party so you can mingle when the guests arrive instead of frantically run around the kitchen.

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3. Set the table

 

No matter if it’s your grandmother’s old china or a new set of dishes on the table, harmony is the key to a nicely decorated table. From tablecloth to the dishes, cutlery through glasses, vases and centerpiece, by harmonizing their color, pattern or style you will be able to create a welcoming ambience. And if you give a theme to the event and dress the table and all accessories accordingly you’ll immediately give all your guests a talking point. By having a seating arrangement you’ll be able to make conversation a bit easier: seat the guest who is entertaining and easily gets into the center of attention. S/he will make sure there will be no awkward silences… Use our beautiful set of seating card holder in our webshop.
(Try our help in choosing the pieces and take extra stress off your shoulders.)

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4. Dress code: elegant, not sexy

 

Nowadays even formal dinners lack dress codes other than smart casual, and it is very well so. However, there are a couple of things to consider while getting ready. Hosts, since they are at home, can wear something more casual, while guests are also not required to wear a tie or a cocktail dress – except if they feel comfortable and relaxed in it. It’s all about ease and enjoying the company, so unless you’re heading to a nightclub after dinner, you’re much better off in a comfortably elegant outfit than a tiny dress and stilettos.

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5. Set the mood

 

Don’t be afraid putting out your finest china, even if you’re planning the evening outside. Such nice objects can work miracles and create an elevated mood even at the most informal gathering. Due to colder evenings it’s clever to put out a few blankets in advance, and in the meantime decorate the place with unscented candles. These will embellish, uplift, set the mood and the tone – and their neutral scent will not put out the delicious smell of the food in the kitchen.
(Have you already seen our beautiful set of candleholders?)

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6. Simplify to succeed

 

Such an evening may bring a handful of stress situations. So try to simplify everything you can to avoid stress while in the center of attention. Put on some good music while you’re preparing, set your own mood for it’ll set the mood of your guests’, and sip a glass of wine before everything. All ready? Well, you’ll be great even if all isn’t.

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7. Drinks

 

Whatever happens, a host should always have plenty of these two: ice and drinks. If you have both these, the evening cannot go wrong. (Just make sure you have enough glasses: see our selection and have a glass in every hand at the party!)

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8. Socialize

 

Dinner parties are a great way to enjoy company. Food and drinks are only part the magic: a good conversation will make an event memorable. Avoid however issues like politics, religion or any subject that might hurt a guest’s feelings. In order to be able to join the conversation whenever you like, it’s not only well-mannered but also beneficial not to bite too large: take small, easily chewable bites as your mother always told you.

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9. Serve the sweet stuff

 

To close the evening with a dessert is the best way to ensure the guests will leave on a sweet note. Desserts might also provide the chance to present something more gourmet, more extraordinary. This dish can be all about extravaganza, all about looks and feel. Help the taste with great-looking accessories, from decadent pastry stands to vintage silverware or porcelain. (We have them or get them for you if needed.)

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10. Enjoy

 

At the end of the day the only thing that matters is whether if you’ve had a great time or not. The biggest luxury of all is the gut not to be perfect.

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