I absolutely love the TV series on Channel 4 called ‘Come Dine With Me’. It’s not just the food served that is interesting but all the different contestants chosen from every walk of life, with different cultures, different backgrounds - some have money, some have not, some have manners and some definitely do not!
However they all have one thing in common and that is they all love cooking and entertaining . This then brings me to the question what makes a perfect dinner party? I think the answer is there is no such thing. As proved on Come Dine With Me everyone is so different they all have such differing tastes in food (I cant believe how many adults don’t like so many things!) should your dinner party be formal? (could be perceived as stuffy) should your dinner party be relaxed (could be perceived as you don’t care) should you go all out to try and make everything perfect? (very irritating and intimidating). I could go on and on and usually do. However, I have been cooking and hosting dinner parties for about 16 years and have probably made every mistake in the book which is why I now feel I can pass on a few ideas which have worked for me.
If you decorate your table (I recommend the night before), provide home cooked food, music, wine and pleasant conversation I am sure you will have a lovely fun time. A good evening is not just down to you either, if you have provided all of the above, (and believe me, dinner parties are not cheap), your guests have a certain responsibility to meet you at least half way.
And don’t forget when things are looking really bleak remember “you can't please all of the people all of the time just some of the people some of the time”.
Have Fun! (click on Occasions to see table decorations)