How To Host The Perfect Dinner Party

Lindsay Trivers, The Tasting Class, Dinner Party, How to Entertain
Harper's Bazaar Interiors
It’s the time of year for entertaining. Here’s how to throw the most elegant holiday soiree

The party season is fast approaching and throwing an elegant holiday get-together is on the list of fundamental annual festivities. We’ve enlisted the help of dinner party expert Lindsay Trivers from The Tasting Class, who shares the dos and don’t for hosting a wonderful evening and how to entertain without breaking a sweat.

Create perfect ‘welcome’ drink…
“Welcome drinks should be refreshing and thoughtful, but not too much work for the host, as they probably are pretty stretched in the kitchen as it is.”

Don’t overlook the ambiance…
“Ambience and table settings go a long way to make a night special. I’m addicted to buying placemats, cloth napkins, napkin rings, snazzy cutlery and pretty plates in order to create beautiful table settings.”

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Serve some light canapés before dinner…
“When I’m serving a snack before dinner, I break the rules and serve the cheese platter at the start of the night. I include some dips, charcuterie and a crudités. It’s easy to pull together and visually appealing.”

Don’t forget a gift for the host…
“I think it’s always nice to rock up with a gift for the host, but not expected. Whether it’s a bottle of bubbly, flowers or some chocolates - it’s nice to show a little appreciation.”

Prep your food in advance…
“Try to prep as much of the food in advance as possible, right down to pre-chopping herbs for a garnish or salad. Pre-measure ingredients that you’ll need to cook together right before service, and pre-cook items like potatoes that can just be finished in the oven right before you eat.”

Don’t tire yourself out…
"Try not to spend too much time on preparation on event day, or you might end up pretty tired when it’s time to enjoy your guests’ company."

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Stock the fridge…
"Having your drinks at the right service temperature is easy to overlook. Stock your fridge with your beverages and ice well in advance to avoid serving warm drinks."

Don’t rely on beginners luck…
“Don’t over complicate it and attempt to create three courses you’ve never made before. Stick to one show-stopper of a dish if you want to try out a new recipe, then keep dessert or starters simple with a cheese board or some nice chocolates, for example.”

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Lindsay Trivers, The Tasting Class, Dinner Party, How to Entertain
Harper's Bazaar Interiors