Good Food Blog
Tips for the party seasonPosted at 1:00PM, 17 December 2010 by Dulcima Mansell - Food writer
The party season is upon us again and hopefully you have a few invites pinned to the noticeboard, and maybe you're hosting an event or two as well. I love to host a festive get-together and am immodest enough to say I have thrown some fantastic parties over the years, but I have certainly made my fair share of mistakes too. Here are my top tips for party success:
Being a host
1. Make an interesting but not intimidating menu. People should feel relaxed and enjoy their food (not the best time to serve offal!) but never let it be dull.
2. Just because you like someone doesn't mean everyone else will. There is a certain sort of host who thinks more is always better when it comes to guests; I say 'not so!'. Fewer people who get on will be far more successful.
3. Make sure the invitations are clear if you want a dress code, otherwise you only have yourself to blame if you are in a cocktail dress/dinner jacket and all your guests are in jeans. Fancy dress can be popular, but not with everyone (can't stand it personally) so judge it carefully.
4. Let's be realistic, people will likely drink more than they should; keep the booze flowing and if necessary hide the good stuff. Oh and on a more sensible note, don't forget the designated drivers.
5. Ensure your guests know whether to expect a full dinner or just nibbles, or you'll end up either with a lot of tipsy guests or lots of plates of untouched food.
As a guest
Of course being a guest requires nowhere near as much planning as being a host, but to be a good guest (and thus secure many future invitations!) there are a few rules to follow:
1. Make sure you have told your host if you have any specific dietary requirements. I have a major hatred of guests who claim they aren't fussy and then pick at their dinner because they had failed to tell me they wouldn't eat fish/red meat etc.
2. If you find your hosts yawning, mentioning how very early they need to get up, or putting on their pyjamas, you may be outstaying your welcome!
3. Always say thank you the next day. A text or email may be enough but your host will really feel their efforts were appreciated if you send a handwritten note.
Those are my basic rules for party survival, do you have any rules you always follow? Or indeed horror stories of when it has gone wrong?