Create a playlist you know your guests will love. Background music sets the tone at a party and can prevent awkward silences during the meal, but keep an eye on the volume. Nobody wants to shout over music, even if it is a medley of Michael Bublé’s greatest hits, especially if it’s a medley of Michael Bublé’s greatest hits.
Portable, wireless and waterproof, the Panasonic ALL05 sound system is a dinner party saviour. With nine hours of battery life it will last the duration of the evening and even see you through the food prep – without conking out if it gets splashed while you spin the salad.
For extra pizzazz, place one of the many wireless multi-room speakers in the entrance hall, bathroom and kitchen so the ambiance isn’t lost as your guests move throughout the house.
Low lighting creates a relaxed mood and makes everyone look prettier and more captivating. Turn down bright overhead lights and light some candles or drape fairy lights. Elegant and inexpensive, it’s a quick, effective way to create atmosphere.
Diffusers are the easiest way to freshen up your living space. Place them around the house so your guests are greeted by an inviting scent the moment they arrive. Soft florals are perfect for spring/summer, while musky, lightly spiced scents suit autumn. For neutral or minimalist homes, pure cotton is a year-round win. Whichever you choose, make sure all your diffusers are the same to avoid the different scents drifting into each other.
Set The Table
Your table decor doesn’t have to be over-the-top, but it should look like you’ve made an effort. Again, candles are inexpensive and a great place to start but stick to non-scented. You don’t want anything to interfere with the great taste and aroma of the food. A floral centerpiece will add something extra to a candlelit table but keep it low so that guests can talk over it. Cloth napkins are a luxurious touch too.
Do consider seating. If you want the atmosphere to feel laid back and spontaneous, let people choose where they want to sit. But, if you’ve invited eight or more guests, seating them will run more smoothly if you make some place cards.
Dinner parties should be fun for the host too. Prepare everything in advance so that you can greet guests properly and enjoy the conversations without flurrying back and forth to the kitchen. Leave the dishes to the morning – you’ve put in the hard work, now it’s time to relax and enjoy yourself.