How to Host a Successful Dinner Party in Autumn

9th October 2018

Autumn is the best time to host a dinner party

Why? There a number of reasons. Firstly, autumn is the season of the senses. Smells, sights, sounds, feelings - everything is more beautiful in autumn. From the vibrant colours of the leaves to the pungent smells of fall spices, we absolutely love this in-between period. And when you're hosting a dinner party, you want the senses to have as rich an experience as possible. Another reason to have a dinner party in autumn is this: you have so many beautiful ingredients and flavours at your disposal. Butternut squash, pumpkin, cinnamon, wild mushrooms, apple, caramelised everything, pine nuts. These are just a few of the wonderful ingredients to look forward to throughout fall! And lastly, you won't have to scratch your head for a 'theme'. Autumn is a theme all on its own and lends itself to a dress code and decor. But if you want to go for something more specific?  Try a particular colour, a woodland or nature-inspired theme, Halloween, Harvest, Oktoberfest or even a campfire-themed party. The list really is endless! Now, that we've covered all the reasons that a dinner party in autumn is such a good idea, it's time to get onto the how-to's.

How to host a memorable dinner party in autumn

So, you've got your invites out and you've set a date. Your friends, family, co-workers, whoever, are all coming over to your place this autumn. Whether it's your first time hosting a dinner party or you're a seasoned professional, we could all do with a few tips from time to time. We've rounded up some of the best ideas for fall-themed dinner parties. Here's how to achieve that memorable night.

Get your decor on-point

Before you even think about the food (although granted, it's important), you should dress up your house or even just your dining room to fit in. If you're going for a Halloween-themed dinner party, your guests will probably be disappointed if there are no decorations. Spend some time hanging up fake cobwebs and pumpkin-shaped fairy lights and laying out witchy placemats for your guests to enjoy. We recommend lots of candles too for that spooky, mysterious light. If you're going for something more classy, however, why not create a centrepiece of autumnal flowers with pine cones and mini pumpkins as decoration? Even simple touches like cosy candles and fairy lights can add a whole dimension to your dinner party. Your guests are likely to take snaps too, so make sure your house is Instagram-worthy!

Conjure up a special cocktail or drink on arrival

As your guests arrive, you'll want to hand them a cocktail or drink to sip as they wait for everyone else. There's nothing nicer than being greeted with a glass of something tasty to quench your thirst! Either magic up your own cocktail (try it first though, just to be safe) or serve something simple but timeless like prosecco. For those who are driving or don't drink, consider a fruity mocktail or spiced hot chocolate for a nice touch. But remember, you don't want to fill your guests up on their drink before they've had the chance to tuck into your delicious food!

Lay the table with all the right stuff

This may take a few times to get right but you should ensure cutlery, placemats, starter plates and napkins are all laid out ready for your guests when they take their seats. A jug of water with extra glasses can't go amiss, as well as drinks mats and some nibbles for between courses! Put out as much cutlery as you need for the courses you're serving - and take each set away as you've finished the corresponding course. It's little touches like these that will make you the perfect dinner party host!

Plan your courses well in advance

Don't leave it till the day before to plan out what you're going to cook. Make sure you choose dishes that everyone will enjoy but that will also surprise. You could play it safe, of course, however, there's nothing more exciting than trying a new dish at a dinner party - and it paying off! Use the autumnal flavours and ingredients we mentioned earlier. Sweet potato is always a winner for main courses along with apple in a desert. Also, you should consider any guests with special dietary requirements like vegetarian or gluten-free. This will be easy to manage as long as you plan in advance. If the other guests are open to trying new things, perhaps serve everyone a vegetarian dish to save time, cooking and washing up! On the other hand, some dinner party hosts prefer to serve lots of small dishes that everyone can tuck into. This might be a good idea if you have lots of fussy eaters, or if the focus is going to be on drinking and playing games! Moral of the story is, you don't have to be the greatest cook in the world to host a dinner party. Just choose your dishes in advance and plan out your recipes. Creating a schedule for your timings and a list of ingredients to buy will really help on the night!



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