Party season has now come to an end, but it’s always nice to have friends over. Evenings spent chatting in front of some nice home made food and nice glass of wine are the best for me. So, here is my little guide to entertaining in style.
First, you should study a menu that is not too heavy, but that includes all courses if it’s a special occasion, to be enjoyed properly seated. When I have many guests who know each other well and space is limited, I prefer not to set the table, but to only lay dishes and cutlery and bring to the table all the food at the same time, so that we pass them to each other, creating a family-style dinner.
Otherwise, I set the table, with a simple and refined light-colored tablecloth, white dishes strictly white, a beautiful centrepiece of fresh flowers, and maybe a coloured table runner, to break the monotony of the whole clear setting.
Water should always be poured into jugs, I can’t stand plastic bottles, they make everything scruffy! Based on the confidence we have with our guests, napkins will be either fabric or paper – I reserve the latter for very close friends, who don’t mind eating on placemats only prosciutto, cheeses and jams, or leftovers I find in the fridge and food defrosted at the very last minute .
I like to start with a small appetizer, maybe a mix of spicy nuts or salted almonds, nibbling on paper cocktail napkins matching the tablecloth, sipping bubbles on the couch.
After a while, I invite my guests to sit at the table. I usually create well blended groups of people, therefore, anyone can sit where they want. However, it may happen that there is a guest who knows less the others and I place him next to the person who may have more in common with him or the one I know is more sociable and entertaining.
If the menu includes a first course, I go to the kitchen to pour the pasta in the boiling water, having made sure that my guests have enough wine to drink. I bring the bread basket with the main course and the sides. If I the menu is only a main, I prepare it in advance, so that it is ready to be served when my guests arrive, the bread basket will already be on the table and I can enjoy the company without having to think about anything else!
I end the meal with desserts- yes, more than one! They are my specialty and the thing I crave the most. I serve coffee with homemade chocolates, I like keeping them at home, as I believe a good hostess should always have something ready to offer at all times!
I’m not a great fan of music in the background , but I have to admit that ambient or chill-out help create the right atmosphere, as well as offering interesting topics of conversation! I tend to give the task of creating the playlist for the night to my most skilled guest, turning him into our personal dj.
Now it’s your turn : what can I improve? What should I do to make sure my dinner parties end up a success? Do you like to entertain at your place, or would you rather go out to meet?