This is a collaborative post.
If you are a person who is known to be house proud, and would like to make the most out of your house and entertainment, you might be planning your first house party or dinner for friends. In case cooking is your thing, you will need to be prepared and make your life easier. You might be fine to cook for yourself and your family, but having a dozen people over at your house might be a challenge. Below you will find a few things to consider before you throw that party.
Consider the Season and Weather
Before you go ahead and start creating a menu for a dinner party, you will need to take into consideration the time of year and the weather forecast. A heavy stew or roast on a summer day might not go down well. You can instead go for the Mediterranean theme and get a tapas on, or create a few light bites and break down your menu to more than three courses. This will make your guests feel more comfortable. If you are having a party in the winter, you can add some extra spice.
Make the Most Out of Your Outdoor Space
When your house is not big enough, you will have to find a way to extend the space available. You might want to get some patio furniture, extend your conservatory, and add a canopy, so you can stay outside, no matter what the weather is like. There is nothing worse than feeling squeezed into a small space and not being able to move freely in your own home, especially when you are trying to serve food.
Upgrade Your Kitchen
If you want to work smarter instead of harder when it comes to cooking for your guests, you will need to think about upgrading your kitchen and your appliances. You might want to invest into quality kitchen knives and food processors, so you don’t have to spend the day chopping meat and vegetables. You will also have to think about getting larger pots and pans, as you will need to work with larger quantities.
Create a Theme
The key to creating a memorable house party is creating a theme. Ask your invited guests about what they like doing during the party, what they are interested in, and even get some suggestions. From a summer theme to creating a menu that relates to everyone’s favorite holiday destination, there are plenty of ways you can make your party special and as enjoyable as possible. Don’t forget about the special decorations and the entertainment, either.
Decorate Your Space
You want your guests to feel welcome and appreciated, so you should decorate your space to the best of your abilities. There are some cheap decorations you can get online or in the shops, or you can put your DIY skills to good use. Create a montage of photos about your friends, the memorable moments you spent together, and turn your home into an altar for family and friendships.
Make a Playlist
No house party can be perfect without the right playlist. You can ask your guests about their music taste, and create a record that will give everyone something to sing along to or to enjoy. You cannot just pick the musical style and expect people to get into the mood of having a conversation. Your music will need to be both uplifting and relaxing, and represent your personality, as well as your guests’ preferences.
Ask Guests for Confirmation
There is nothing worse than inviting a lot of people, cooking for 20, and only a handful of guests turning up. You will need to print your invitations and ask for a written confirmation. You don’t really want to waste your money and the food by cooking for more people than necessary. You should always take note of the guests, and give them a call or a text a couple of days before the party, just in case they forget.
Take Note of Food Intolerances
If you don’t want your guests to remember your party for all the wrong reasons, you will have to collect information about their food intolerances and allergies. This will help you create a menu that is suitable for everyone, or offer alternative dishes for those who are on a special diet. You don’t want anyone to leave your house hungry and stop at the closest fast food restaurant on the way home. At the same time, you don’t want to cause allergic reactions, either.
Prepare what You Can
Holding a house party will significantly increase your workload, so it is important that you prepare everything you can ahead of time. You might want to pre-cook the meat, or just chop the vegetables the day before. If you are making a cake, you can have it in the fridge until it is ready to go in the oven. The sooner you have everything ready for the dinner party, the more relaxed you will be on the day and the better you can play the role of the host. Check your dinner sets to ensure you don’t discover that there is one plate missing on the day of the party.
Ask for Contributions
In case you are ready to drop some of the chores related to organising your house party, you might want to ask for contributions and get people to take salads, snacks, and desserts with them. You don’t want to spend days cooking, after all. Just one dish or snack will help you out a lot, and you will be able to just dish up the food items that are delivered by your guests. This is also a good approach if you are unsure whether or not your own menu will be a winner among your guests.
Throwing your first house party might sound like a scary idea, but it is not as hard as you think, if you get yourself organised in time.