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Dinner parties can sometimes seem an intimidating and stressful prospect rather than the enjoyable social occasions that they should be. We’ve come up with a few top tips to ensure that both you and your guests enjoy yourselves as much as possible, without you spending all evening in the kitchen!

Attention to Detail
Adding little personal elements like table favours or taking the dietary requirements of your guests into consideration helps to add that extra touch that will ensure your friends feel at home.

Adapting your menu to suit a vegetarian friend isn’t as difficult as it might initially appear. Just as going that little bit further for your guests–such as picking out a wine you know that they particularly enjoy or adding a little something to their place setting- will make all the difference.

Dress Code
Set the tone with an outfit that you can wear comfortably throughout the evening that won’t restrict your movement or your waist. A long loose dress for a lady is always a sure-fire winner, and wearing a light floral print will add a summery romantic element, even if the weather doesn’t quite agree!

For men, a loose waistband and light linen or cotton garments dressed up with a nicely tailored blazer will keep you both comfortable and stylish all evening.

Food and Wine
It’s all in the preparation! Ensure that at least two of your courses are pre-cooked so all that’s required in the evening is reheating and serving. This will ensure that the majority of your cooking is done beforehand leaving you more time to entertain and be entertained.

Choose wines that suit your courses. Fresh white wines such as Pinot Grigiot and Sauvignion Blanc are the perfect accompaniment to fish, whereas a Chardonnay or Merlot are well matched with chicken dishes.

Put Your Best Furniture Forward
This is the time to break out that French style furniture and Parisian tablecloths than add those special little touches to your surroundings. Keep it simple and stylish and avoid any unnecessary additions that will just make the place feel cluttered.

A minimal yet tastefully decorated space will help everything to look tidier once your table is full of empty plates, glasses, and discarded napkins.

Remember to Relax
You are also there to enjoy yourself! If something goes wrong, stay calm. There’s every chance it’ll just become a good anecdote for your next dinner party!

Above all, enjoy the experience. A friendly host is an invaluable dinner party must-have, and if you pull it off you’ll be the toast of the evening!

Comment below to let us know your dinner party experiences, we’d love to hear about when things go wrong, and of course when they go right.

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Estelle Page is a self-employed interior designer on a mission to make the world a prettier place to live in, one home at a time. Here she writes for Out There Interiors on the best ways to ensure your dinner party is a success.