March 28, 2013

Come Dine With Me

Dinner parties need be neither exhausting nor daunting. The key to successful, stress-free entertaining is all in the planning and preparation.
If you’re relaxed and ready to welcome your guests, then your good mood will set the tone for the entire evening. Friends will be buoyed by your good humor and feel at ease in your company, allowing for an enjoyable evening all round. Your menu choice and meal preparation is only part of the battle.  Rushing around at the eleventh hour, laying the table and hunting for linen isn’t conducive to a calm and welcoming environment.
It’s often the littlest details that have the biggest impact. Clean table linen is a given but it’s also important to iron your tablecloth and napkins. Don’t spoil the effect of a pristine table with mismatched crockery.
Woolworths' range of dinner sets is stylish, without breaking the bank. Pick a pattern that complements your taste in decor and lay your dinner table well in advance of your guests’ arrival.
Why not experiment with an alternative centerpiece? Rather than a conventional floral arrangement, consider seasonal fruit or a tureen. Ensure your table has been correctly set. Knife blades need to face inwards and wine and water glasses should be placed to the right. Your glassware should sparkle and cutlery should be free of smears. Set the scene with some subtle low-lighting. Put on a playlist and avoid the necessity of having to change CDs.
When considering your menu, avoid attempting a new recipe. Stick to a tried and tested favorite.
Don’t subject your guests to an unsavory trial and error. A shared platter as a starter makes for an
ideal alternative to separate servings, particularly if you need to spend a little more time preparing and perfecting the main course. Consider offering a choice of desserts to your guests. Something rich and indulgent alongside a lighter, more refreshing option often works well.
You can entertain on a budget or enjoy the experience even if your culinary capabilities aren’t quite
cordon bleu. Prepare a simple, home-cooked meal or serve take-away food on your finest china and above all, remember not to take yourself too seriously.

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