The Checklist for a Flawless Dinner Party

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The Checklist for a Flawless Dinner Party

Private or official, casual or formal, every dinner party has to adhere to a set of parameters to be considered flawless. Don’t misinterpret this statement – only you can dictate the setup and “rules” of your own dinner party. When you’re making a dish or organizing a dinner table, this is your kingdom and it can be as unorthodox as your chosen guests can bear. On the other hand, if you want your dining event to be considered universally superb, here is the checklist of things you should consider for a flawless dinner party.

Start planning early

The Checklist for a Flawless Dinner Party

The flawlessness of your dinner party is in direct proportion to the length of the time window you reserve for preparation beforehand. Now, considering we are trying to cover any sort of dinner party here, the length of this time window depends, but:

If it is a casual affair with your intimate friends, it is enough to plan it out 48 hours beforehand. In this situation, you’ll probably already know if your friends have some dietary restrictions and what sort of food they enjoy the most. One day to purchase the groceries and another day to prepare the meals can be quite enough unless you are planning something elaborate. If you are thinking about adding several more dishes to the mix, and if you’ve never cooked these dishes before, you should plan it a whole week ahead.

Now, when it comes to large-scale and formal dinner parties, three weeks is the minimal time window to plan it and prepare it. Preferably, you’ll start considering the broad strokes – of the dishes, their order and combination – as soon as five weeks before the event.

The perfect temperature

The Checklist for a Flawless Dinner Party

The most important factor that determines whether a dinner party is flawless can be boiled down to – timing. Every single dish has to be served at the moment when the temperature is exactly right. Now, this is something you can easily do when you have a private party for friends.

However, in the case of large-scale dining events, this becomes a true management hell. Many organizers fall back on the good old exotic nibbles which are best served cold – this way, the temperature is not a factor at all. On the other hand, personal chefs are an alternative solution for this temperature conundrum.

If it really gets tight – hire a personal chef

The Checklist for a Flawless Dinner Party

Thankfully, we live in a time when personal(ized) food service has become a regular and feasible option. If for this reason or the other you simply cannot find time to prepare the meals yourself, you can always fall back on a brilliant personal chef service that will gladly prepare an individually designed menu. Practically all such services hire only highly acclaimed chefs that have already won numerous culinary awards, so you’ll be playing a safe game there.

Dazzle them with design

The Checklist for a Flawless Dinner Party

If you want to show everyone your creative streak or dazzle the high-end guests at your charity ball, you can turn your dinner into a piece of art. When you serve a particular meal, you can add garnish and really go crazy with the centerpieces. Just remember you can go beyond the regular food-made ornaments. You can add flowers, create ice-sculptures, and use twigs and wires to create something truly memorable. A tasteful food design can open the appetite of your guests even further.

Smaller bites, more dishes

The Checklist for a Flawless Dinner Party

The worst thing you can do is to serve one or two dishes and stack the plates with a mound of food. First of all, not all people can eat so much, but you also have to be considerate about those who have big appetites. The best solution for this is to have more dishes with smaller portions. This way, a guest who can’t eat too much will not feel as if they have offended you if they don’t empty the plate, and those who can eat a mountain will go home with their stomachs full anyway.

Set the table just right

Of course, just as there are rules and parameters that can increase the probability of hosting a flawless dinner party, you’ll also want to adhere to some general guidelines so you are setting the table properly. A table well set is a mission statement – it will show how serious you are about this dinner and how good a host you are.


No matter if it’s only two friends in your apartment or an extravagant charity ball, the code of conduct is always the same – if you are the host, you are obliged to make sure your guests feel comfortable and satisfied. This is the bottom line that never changes. If you adhere to at least half the advice on this checklist, you are bound to have a flawless dinner party and get an earful of praise for weeks to come.

Olivia Williams Jones

Olivia is psychologist from Brisbane. She is passionate about writing and always inspiring her readers to be clever in their lives.

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