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Helpful tips on planning and hosting the perfect dinner party this summer

August 3, 2012

Whether you enjoy the glamour of being the hostess or detest it, the truth is there will always be the inevitable time when the mantle falls on you. Some people thrive with the pressure, and manage to produce languish and elegant soirees – others, a take away and plonk from the rack. Whichever category you fall into, one factor tends to remain the biggest problem; the space to fit everyone in.

Thankfully, we are here with a few easy tips on how to impress your guests with minimal effort!

1. Seating is often the biggest problem that the hosts tend to have – often, the best way to solve this is instead of crushing chair upon chair into the same room, clear it of chairs entirely. A buffet style party is easy for everyone; nobody sits, everyone socialises and everyone enjoys the setting. All you really need is one large table with enough space for guests to move around to mount their plates with whatever food you have on offer. Conservatories are a great area for this – large, airy spaces for you to play with. For any guests that need seating, with all the chairs out of the room, you know there will definitely be one on offer for them. Easy!

Finger food buffets are ideal for light, easy parties

2. For a sit-down meal, conservatories and orangeries are absolutely ideal. Large, open spaces with high ceilings make sure guests don’t feel stifled, and keeps the family vibe without making everyone feel cramped. They also give wonderful opportunities for decorations; fairy lights, candles and little lanterns are common favorites. A favourite of ours is putting candles in the neck of empty wine bottles, letting the wax dribble down the neck for a unique ornament.

A sit down party is a great way to get the family together and enjoying themselves! 

3. Some people find it easier to use the kitchen as their hub for the food – straight from the oven onto the table is never a bad idea, and far quicker too. This will also free up other rooms in the house for use; lounges, dining areas and conservatories make great rooms for mingling or activities like karaoke or board games. It all depends on where the mood takes you!

Using the kitchen frees up areas of the house for other uses, so utilize your space!

4. Onto the drinks – a vital part of any party! It’s always useful to try and have a fridge dedicated to drinks as it makes it easier to be able to get to them instead of fighting your way through a throng of people looking for different things in one fridge. However, if this isn’t an option, then a room with doors that can open onto a garden is ideal for keeping drinks cooler than room temperature. Place them all into buckets filled with water and ice (and salt can cool them even quicker!) and put them next to, or outside, the open door. Conservatories are perfect for this, as the doors often open straight into the garden and act as a fantastic chilling room for drinks and any slightly warmer guests!

Cold beers, happy guests! Use conservatories as chilling rooms

5. Last thing – don’t let the rubbish pile up! Placing bin bags and empty buckets near fridges and back doors is a great way to keep rubbish to a minimum, and makes sure there’s less mess to clean up the next day!

Avoid the mess by cleaning up as you go along; strategic bin bags are great help! 

These are just 5 quick tips to help with any parties you happen to be planning or being roped into; and comments or extra tips would be appreciated. It would be great to hear from you!

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