I’ve hosted quite some dinners over the past few years, especially now since all the restaurants in my country are closed. Sometimes you just want to eat a bit more fancier than usual. For me, it was always kind of a tradition to eat at a restaurant when there was something to celebrate, a birthday, a diploma/graduation etc… So, I will tell you some of my tips on how to make hosting a dinner run smoothly.

1. Think about your company Everybody is different, everybody likes different things. So I suggest if you’re planning on hosting a dinner, you first think about the kind of people you’re having over. 

2. Plan ahead My first tip would be to always plan ahead if possible. It makes it a lot easier to do the groceries and all the necessary pre-work. I usually decide a week in advance when I want to make a 3 or 4 course meal.

2. Decide what you want to eat My second tip is to decide what you want to make obviously. Think about the people at your table, what do they like or dislike, are there any allergies? Start off choosing the dishes that go well together, maybe think about the season you’re currently in. Some vegetables are more likely to be found in spring time than in winter, so that’s something you might want to think about. 

3. Think about appetizers  Often when you have guests over, you start out with some casual appetizers. Maybe some nuts or chips, different cheeses with crackers, just stuff like that. Think about a nice way to present a snack plate, this is easy and fun to do!

4. Make a list of the needed ingredients It’s obviously a lot easier to go shopping when you already know what you want. I like to put the stuff I need from the supermarket to be in order according to how the store is divided. This way it will take a lot less time and you won’t forget anything. 

5. Do all the prep-work you’re able to do I always really like to do some things a few hours ahead, I don’t like it when I still have to do things whilst the guests have arrived. It will take a lot longer in-between courses if you still have to cut all the vegetables. So my tip for you is to see what you can do in advance. A lot of the times the starters and appetizers are cold dishes, so what I usually do is I already put the dishes on the plates and put them in the fridge. If you don’t have enough space in the fridge you can just put the vegetables or sauces in separate bowls so you can make it in a very short time.

6. Set your table in advance Setting your table in advance before you even start the cooking can save you a lot of stress. When you set the table you can also think about cute elements to complete your dinner. Maybe make little name cards or small menu’s for the guests or fold the napkins in some kind of way, maybe put nice flowers in the middle. I also always suggest putting salt & pepper on the table.

7. Use recipes you’re familiar with If you’re hosting a dinner made out of multiple courses I suggest using recipes/dishes you’re already familiar with. This way you’ll be more likely to succeed, so maybe try out some recipes yourself before making them for other people.

8. Put fitting music on in the background I always like to put on a little music when I’m hosting a dinner. Maybe something like a good dinner lounge music playlist from Spotify, that usually helps getting in the mood. The playlist I recommend: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DZ06evO0xAJIs?si=4Hxr8xtrR5OPggmaj065QA.

So I hope these tips might help you host a dinner! If you have any tips yourself you would like to share feel free to leave a comment and be sure to check out my other posts: The DIY at-home spa, How to shop during a 10-30 mins shopping appointment, 14 Things to do during lockdown.

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