How to hold the perfect dinner party …

Dry January is nearly over and it’s time for Fiesta February. What better way to ease your way back into socialising than having friends for dinner.

Shenderey events have worked with some of the finest caterers in the world so who better to give us the ultimate guide……

Picking unpronounceable and complicated dishes undoubtedly will end in tears (either yours or your guests!) Remember Bridget Jones’ blue soup? However, here are a few simple tricks to give Nigella or Heston Blumenthal a run for their money!

Prepare and Plan

Avoid anything that will keep you kitchen bound all night. If your guests are all catching up and drinking merrily, you do not want to miss out slaving over a hot stove. Maximise your time by preparing as much as you can beforehand. Pre measure your ingredients, chop the vegetables etc. Find a dish you can pop in the oven or leave simmering on the hob. Cook something you have made before, not googled five minutes ago.

Do a timeplan and think how everything needs cooking. If your starter, main, sides and dessert all need oven time it will be a logistical nightmare. In this day and age it’s also essential to find out your guests dietary requirements ahead of time. You will feel like the worst host in the world sitting next to a guest who is miserably picking bits of beef out their stew

Not everything is about the food!

It’s too easy to focus solely on the food and to forget the little things that make your dinner party special. Background music, lighting (candles or atmospheric lighting), a beautifully laid table, flowers and alcohol all contribute.

Finishing Touches

Presentation can turn a modest dish into something exceptional. A pea and mint soup (made beforehand!) swirled with crème fraiche and served with little parmesan straws can wow the crowd. It’s good to avoid serving foods of similar colours. Adding some raspberries to chocolate mousse can definitely lift the dish. Sweet little pots or individual serving dishes for pate or even lasagne will impress.

Remember not everything has to be homemade. No one will mind or know if the bread or chocolate truffles are shop bought!


This is probably the most important tip of all. If you are running around like a headless chicken looking for the corkscrew or panicking your dessert looks nothing like the picture, your guests mood will reflect this and no one will have fun. Remember good company and a simple Spaghetti Bolognese is infinitely more worthwhile than a stressed host looking more lifeless than the Beef Wellington

Shenderey Events has over 18 year’s experience of creating bespoke events. Whether it’s an intimate dinner party, birthday party, wedding, corporate function, charity event or aftershow party for thousands, we can ensure every last detail is perfect.

07946 629309





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