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How to Throw a Stress-Free Dinner Party

02 Oct 2018
Fresh produce
Wok to bowl
Eating outdoors
Chopped herbs
Italian food
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A dinner party is the best excuse to gather your new friends, have a few drink, eat good food, share some laughs, and generally be merry; but organising one can be a source of anxiety if you’re not prepared.
If you love having people round for dinner but always find that there’s something you’ve forgotten or that the food hasn’t turned out quite as planned, don’t worry: here are five tips to help make sure your soirée goes with a swing!

 

Be Realistic

It’s easy to spend too much time fussing over your food in the kitchen – but remember: it’s not all about the grub! You might want to go all-out with a Masterchef-worthy menu, but be realistic about what you can make in your kitchen. Slow-roast lamb shanks may seem like a good idea, until all your 10 guests have arrived and you have to juggle between entertaining them and cooking.

Eating outdoors

Be wise and pick recipes that let you get ahead by making a few steps a day or two in advance – otherwise you may need to allow for gaps between courses. Finally, if you share a kitchen, be sure to check with your flatmates that they’re happy with you using the space for the night – to avoid awkward tension in the future.
 

Plan Ahead

Organising a dinner party requires a lot more planning than simply tossing together some plain rice and veggies on any given weeknight – doing it on a weekend will allow everyone to have a more relaxing time without worrying about 9am lectures; similarly, you should avoid exam seasons.

Fresh produce

A week before you dinner party, compile a list of groceries that you need to buy and where to get them from; shop for fresh ingredients closer to the date to ensure freshness. You can also do your grocery-shopping online, but if your recipe calls for unusual ingredients then you may need to pop down to a specialist supermarket.
 

Keep it Simple

Picking something Frenchified to cook may impress your guests, but it’s almost bound to end in a disaster – and nobody wants that!

Italian food

When it comes to organising a dinner party, less really is more. Most people will be happy with just a bowl of well-seasoned and well-presented spag bol and you’ll definitely be able to enjoy the evening more if you’re not slaving over a hot stove all night – so maybe you should keep that Heston Blumenthal cookbook for next time.
 

Note Dietary Requirements

This step is essential for planning, since your friends could be fussier than you expect or have food intolerances that you didn’t know about.

Chopped herbs

You definitely don’t want to find out that someone in the room is allergic to nuts right as you’re pulling the coffee and walnut cake out of the oven – so make sure you ask ahead and plan dishes that all or most people at the table can enjoy.
 

Breathe…

Now that everything is in place, it’s your time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the party!

Dinner party

Remember that this is not Come Dine with Me (unless it is), and that your guests are coming to socialise and not to rate your food or judge your hosting skills. They will respond to your mood, and if you’re running around like a headless chicken, they won’t be able to enjoy themselves – so try not to take yourself (or your dinner party) too seriously.
 

Ready, Set, Cook!

Whether you want to share with a friend or have one all to yourself, there’s a fully furnished kitchen in all of our rooms – find a Fusion room near you now!

Wok to bowl

If you need some inspiration on what to cook, be sure to check out our other Fusion Food blogs, including this one on tasty takeaway alternatives or this list of brain foods that can help boost your focus – perfect for students!