Fine Living Gourmet: Style and Elegance in Entertaining


Planning the Perfect Dinner Party

Published by: Claudine McDonald

  • Feb
  • 8

Plan your dinner party right

Dinner time is the most important time of the day for a family.  It can be as elaborate as the hostess would like, or as simple as she wishes it to be.

Your guest list is the first thing you must consider.  How many people will you invite and how many family members will be present must be decided. The next important item to decide upon is your “Menu.” Then you must make your list and shop for your food.

The table can be set a couple of days before the dinner.  This will allow the hostess to make sure she has selected the most appropriate and attractive china,  silver ware, crystal and table linens for the dinner.  It can be an informal or formal dinner that is planned.

The selection of a beautiful centerpiece is decided on after the above items are done.

Two days before the meal, start your preparation of dishes that can be refrigerated.  The meal should be completed before the guest arrives.  Never ask your guest to join you in the kitchen to finish a dish.  The hostess and host should be relaxed and ready to receive their guest when they arrive.

When the guest arrives, appetizers may be offered with cocktails or other beverages.  When all are seated at the table to start the meal, the host is seated at the end of the table and the hostess at the other end.  They should always face each other.  It is best if the hostess is seated closer to the kitchen.  A female guest should sit to the right of the host.  A male guest should sit next to the hostess.  Never seat husband and wife next to each other. Alternate men and women.  This will help with a good flow of conversation.

The soup is served as the first course, and the soup bowl is removed after the soup is finished.   The salad is served next and salad plate is removed after the salad is finished.  The main course is served next.  The dessert can be placed on a table with silverware and plates nearby for the guest when they are ready to be served.  Coffee and tea can be served in the living room after dinner or with the dessert if desired.

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