If you are the person that everyone turns to when your group of friends are looking to meet up for a good old catch up, it’s time to get thinking about your next soiree. You want to lay on a good spread, make your evening ooze a little bit of sophistication and ensure that the culinary delights that you create are nothing short of taste sensations. You love nothing more than seeing your guests’ faces light up as they devour your tasty morsels. You love your evenings to be memorable, enjoyable and relaxing.
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With the nights drawing in and the weather having a distinct chill in the air, you want your winter dinner party to feel cosy yet special. After a natter around the table, you want to retire in front of a roaring fire and enjoy a cup of cocoa. Ok, so that might sound like a scene out of a black and white movie, but the more traditional idyllic gatherings are becoming more popular as people hark back to an era without social media and technological advancements. Take a look at these different ideas that might inspire you for your next winter soiree.
Traditional gatherings are so fun in the winter. Take a look at these different ideas that might inspire you for your next winter soiree.
The Guest List
Before you even begin to start thinking about the catering, the theme and the table dressings, you need to consider who will be attending your party. Are you going to host family and friends? Do you want a large, raucous sort of soiree? Or are you after a more intimate affair with your nearest and dearest? Make your guest list and send out invites as early as possible. The end of the year and the start of a new one is renowned for being exceptionally busy for even the most timid of social butterflies.
If you’re after a sophisticated affair, you should think about a suited and booted approach. Encourage a monochrome black and white theme, ask the gentlemen to wear suits and shine their shoes, and make ‘glamor’ the order of the day for your female guests. By implementing a dress code, you aren’t being a sergeant major sort of host, you are simply adding a touch of specialness to your gathering. If you don’t meet up too often, it’s lovely to add a touch of extravagance to your dinner party.
If you’d rather a more laid-back affair, why not opt for a more fun dress code. Perhaps you could suggest a comfy sweater theme, the cozier the better, or insist that slippers are allowed. This certainly adds to the coziness of your event and is perfect for more intimate parties.
You may have a large round oak dining table, a long industrial style bench table or a Victorian oval mahogany giant. Whatever the style of your table, it’s vital that you take a look at some signature quality tablecloths to dress your piece of furniture. Using a heavy set yet light, soft cloth with a luxurious feel, you are adding a touch of class to your dining experience. Coupled with some stunning cutlery, crystal glasses and a unique table centerpiece, you can create a special ambience for your soiree.
Centerpieces can come in the form of handmade creations, one of a kind sculptures, and the most beautiful flower garlands. Whatever centerpiece you select, ensure that it goes with your theme. There’s nothing better than a Norwegian fir garland complete with cones and fake snow to exude a cozy winter theme. If you’re opting for something a little more outside the box, why not commission a miniature sculpture of you and your pals. Many artisan craftspeople will take ideas from photographs and turn them into 3D table centerpieces. Amazing!
The most important aspect of any dinner party is the food. This is where your creative flair really can be unleashed. You may select a traditional three, four or five-course meal. On the other hand, you may opt for a more relaxed one-pot affair where your friends simply have to help themselves and dig in. Winter foods such as casseroles, stews and pies really lend themselves to this style of eating. You could even hark back to a real winter retro classic and rustle up a cheese fondue for your guests to enjoy. If the stodgy sort of food isn’t really your style, you could opt for the traditional fine dining experience yet still utilize the winter produce growing around you. Go for root vegetables such as beetroot, celeriac, parsnips and cabbage. Winter lamb and beef are a great option for carnivores as well as venison and pork throughout the winter months.
You could, of course, opt for something entirely different and forego the table altogether. By having a serve-yourself party sort of gathering, you can have a buffet-style spread. By doing this, you can experiment with finger food style canapes. How does smoked salmon blini with caviar sound? Or what about a miniature rosemary crusted lamb bite complete with pea puree? You can explore your favorite winter dishes and create the most delightful tasty treats for your guests to enjoy.
Whatever theme your soiree takes and whatever food you choose to cook, you can dictate the ambience of your gathering with music and lighting. For a more gentle and relaxed atmosphere, whip out the soft background music playlist and set the dimmer switches to low. With some vintage light orange hued Edison filament bulbs and some soft furnishings adorning your dining table and living room, the cosy atmosphere is complete. For a more formal affair, put on the classical strings and invite people to sit at the table for an appetizer before supper is served.
Hosting a dinner party can be stressful, but you should take it in your stride. Enjoy the planning and preparation and relish the opportunity to cook up a storm in the kitchen. The next soiree you host will be another memorable affair for both you and your guests.
This is a contributed post.
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