UK Lifestyle Blog

23 December 2016

Tips For Hosting a Dinner Party & Our Christmas Decor | AD

[AD] It's almost Christmas day, you've got your food shop done, the turkey is ready to be prepped, now it's time to get your house in order. Throwing a dinner party can be stressful at any time of the year, but none more so than at Christmas! Friends and family come round in their droves, all with hungry bellies, and a thirst for some fulfilling festive grub.

This is our first Christmas in our own home, and the first Christmas Day Dinner I've ever hosted. As a couple, we cook for two of us, Christmas day, I'll be cooking for SEVEN. Daunting indeed. I thought I would put together a dual post, with tips for helping you host your own festive dinner party and also a sneaky peek at what our house looks like this Christmas.

1. My first, absolute number 1 tip would be make a list. Check it twice. Couldn't help myself.
    I'm known to have a million lists on the go, but to make it easier for you split them into categories
    such as; Food to buy, Home (extra chairs needed? spare bowls?) and other. Then you can clearly
    see what is left to do and what you've already tackled.

2. Set a Budget.
    Hosting a dinner party can be an expensive affair, especially if you're having a lot of guests 
    attending. Set yourself a budget and try not to go over board. Perhaps even ask guests to bring
    a bottle of alcohol with them, as this will save you a lot of money, and on the whole guests are
    usually quite happy to do this. Your focus then can solely be on the food.

3. Give yourself plenty of time.
    I can often be a huge culprit of 'last minute mayhem' and often do leave things very late in terms of
    organisation. However this time round, I was prepared. As you can see even my table is set ready,
    which is because I'm working up until Christmas Eve. I really didn't want to be setting the table,
    and trying to keep an eye on the Christmas Dinner all in the morning. Make sure you give yourself
    plenty of time to get everything done, that way you'll feel much more relaxed when the party gets 
    into motion.

4. Create a time line.
    One tip that I often use at work, is to create a Timed To Do list. This is where you break down
    your day into hours. Say you're up at 9am and you dinner party starts at 7:30. Break down the
    middle into sections such as 9-10am pick up fresh produce, 10-11 prep starter and all vegetables.
    This way you can clearly see all of your tasks in an hour by hour format and know what you need
    to be doing and when.

5. It's all in the detail.
    What makes parties and dinners memorable to me is the attention to detail. You don't have to
    spend a lot of money, you can even D.I.Y your own table decorations. I have bought most of my
    table d├ęcor from Ikea, B&M and Home Bargains. It didn't cost much at all, but looks great when
    it's all put together.


6. Create the right ambiance.
    Another key preparation for a party is creating the right ambiance, is the house warm enough, is it
    too warm from the kitchen heat? You don't want your guests sat in their coats, but nor do you want
    them sweltering either!
    Another key element is scent. I like to make my home smell nice before we have any one round. I 
    was contacted by Amara, which is a luxury homeware company to take their Home Fragrance Quiz
    and pick out a candle based on my result. My perfect Home Scent came out as Sweet. Which is no 
    surprise to me! You can take the quiz here to help find a scent that will be perfect for your home. I was sent a gorgeous cream and gold
    candle called Air de Provence by D.L.&Co* which smells sensational. It has hints of jasmine,
    musk and citrus. Perfect to keep my home smelling great this party season. Whether it's a candle,
    room spray, or air freshener it's easy to make your home smell delicious in time for your guests

7. Have Fun.
    Grab a glass of wine, pop on the festive tunes and have some fun. Try not to stress too much, and
    take it all in. Sometimes being a host can distract you from actually enjoying your own party!
    Ensure you pry yourself away from the kitchen and have a good time with your guests.

Hosting a dinner party

I hope that this post has helped you prepare for your next dinner party, and I hope you have an amazing time during this festive season!

Are you hosting a dinner party this Christmas?

*Items in this post were gifted to me, all opinions are my own

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