Entertaining is a skill. Not all people have the patience to accommodate guests and attend to their needs whenever there is a gathering. It takes a lot of effort and social skills to entertain on a large scale, and not everyone is like Martha Stewart. So it’s best to practice by giving a small dinner party first. Now do not underestimate the things involved with hosting a small, intimate gathering. It’s simpler than giving a large dinner party, but the attention to detail required to make it work remains the same. Here are some tips that will help you host a small dinner party as efficiently as possible.
- Remember that it is a “small” party. Forget those grand plans that are fit for large parties; you don’t need them here. Small dinner parties are often a gathering of friends, and that being the case, there is no need to impress these people like you would impress an important stranger. Don’t overcrowd your space – four people are already enough in one table.
- Keep the menu simple. There’s nothing wrong with serving gourmet dishes to your guests but make sure that your menu is appropriate for the number of people in your party. Simple, uncomplicated dishes will actually do if they taste good enough. A simple appetizer will do, followed by a hearty meal of meat or fish, capped off by a delightful cheesecake or pie. If your guests are your friends, they will appreciate this meal like they would a fancy one.
- Plan. Small dinner parties do involve planning, although it’s not as complicated as preparing for a large party. Two weeks preparation is ample enough time to do everything, from invitations to cooking the food itself.
- Use soft lighting and light music. Dinner parties, big or small, should be set up in such a way that people can have conversation without having to shout into the other person’s ears.
- Plan the seating arrangements. There is no need to use place cards, but you should inform your guests where they should sit before dinnertime. It will save them the confusion of figuring out where to sit when it’s time to go to the table.