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  Advance Planning  

Good planning is essential for a successful dinner party. Planning things in advance will not only ensure that all your guests will be able to make it, but also you will be relaxed and well prepared.

  • Try to arrange the date as early as possible to give people the opportunity to make arrangements to be there.
  • Write out your guest list
  • Send out the invitations as soon as you have decided on the date of the event.


Planning the food for the party is probably the most fun aspect. If you are not confident in the kitchen then do not be too adventurous there is nothing wrong with simple dishes, but the sky is the limit with dinner parties!

  • Make sure that your choice of menu doesn't keep you in the kitchen all night, guests are there to see you not necessarily for the food. That is an added bonus.
  • Prepare food in advance.
  • Leave dressing until the last minute to avoid soggy salad.
  • Check with guests for any food allergies.
  • Check if any of your guests are vegetarians. Remember there are different types of vegetarians, some eat fish others (vegans) will not eat anything with any animal produce at all. Talk to your guests they will be willing to let you know of any dietary requirements beforehand.


The usual rule for wine is white with white meat red with red meat. See our wine guide for some recommendations.

Have a non-alcoholic substitute i.e. orange juice or spritzer.

Remember to have fun with the occasion your guests will be more willing to return to a happy host and more importantly you will look forward to the next one, although maybe not as you are doing the washing up!