Where to hold your dinner party: O.K. before we start, first things first! If you intend to use your home to hold your dinner party, it's a good idea to spend some time the preceding day cleaning your house or apartment. That is, unless your home is already immaculately kept anyway!
You don't need to go mad. Just put anything away that you think makes your home look a little untidy, or just move any clutter into another room that your guests won't see. You can always put things back again later.
After you tidy up, assuming you need to, go around with the duster and vacuum cleaner. Don't forget to look up, even the the best kept homes have the odd cob web that has gone unnoticed.
Next it's very important that you make sure that your bathroom, toilet and kitchen are spotless. No one wants to eat in a place where these areas look unclean.
Now that your home is all spick and span you can be proud that your home is a pleasant environment for your guests. Before your guests arrive put clean towels in the bathroom and ensure there is a spare loo roll in the toilet.
I also open all the windows for a while a few hours beforehand to get some fresh air into the house.
You get the idea! Sorry to go on about cleaning, but these little things make a real difference and show your guests that you care about them and respect them.
The dining room is where most of us would choose to hold our dinner parties. This is probably the best and easiest location, when thinking where to hold your dinner party, especially for the more formal gathering.
If your dining room is separate from, or can be closed off from your kitchen so much the better. This means that your guests cannot see into your kitchen from sitting at the dining table, allowing you to get on and focus on what you are doing in the kitchen without too many interruptions.
The kitchen diner lends itself very well to the slightly more informal choice of where to hold your dinner party. So, if your dining area is part of your kitchen don't worry, you just need to play to it's strengths! What do I mean? It just means you need to think slightly differently, when thinking where to hold your dinner party that's all.
It's a good idea to seat your guests in your lounge with drinks and nibbles before seating them at the dinner table, allowing you to get on with things in the kitchen area.
Where possible, try to ensure that as much of your cooking and food preparation has been done beforehand.
The reason being that once your guests are seated at the dinner table it's much more difficult for you to prepare food, cook and serve whilst being distracted by your guests, who will insist on talking to you all the time!
You may want to ask your guests to retire to your lounge between courses if you think that that will help you. If you can obtain some sort of screen that can be used to obscure the worst of your preparation area this can help as well.
However, having a kitchen diner can make for a great social environment. You will probably find your guests offering to help out. If you don't mind delegating - this can be good fun, but you need to be able to multi-task quite well if you go down this route, so be warned! Just go with which ever approach you feel most comfortable with.
The garden is a fantastic place to entertain your guests if the weather is fair and warm. You will need an outside table big enough to seat everyone and something to shade your guests if it's very sunny.
It goes without saying that you will need to make your garden as neat and tidy as possible beforehand. You also need the ability to move everything indoors at very short notice if the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse.
But on a hot summers night, outside in the garden, the stage is set, and as you move into the evening the candles are lit, the moon and the stars come out, and as you eat and share a bottle of wine with good friends or family a most enjoyable time is to be had by all. It doesn't really get any better than this!
The Safari meal is as informal as it gets when deciding where to hold your dinner party, but can be great fun! The idea goes one step further than a 'Bring something to share' type of gathering.
You and a number of friends each prepare either the starter, main course, or sweet etc. at home. But instead of all taking it to one house to eat you and your friends travel from one house to the next for the various courses.
Great if you all live within walking distance of each other as it avoids the designated drivers problem. Not only does it help spread the cost around it's also something a bit different and good fun as well!