Stress-Free Dinner Parties


One of the most rewarding and intimate ways to spend time with friends is to have a leisurely dinner party, followed by some relaxed group activities. There’s no better way to spend quality time with your loved ones, and, let’s face it, these days we all have such busy schedules that it’s not often that we can get together and spend real time catching up.

One stumbling block for some is the prospect of hosting a gathering. What if you’re not a confident cook? Can’t think of what to do after the meal? Here are a few tips for a successful and stress-free dinner party.

When it comes to the food, keep it simple. Assemble some good-quality ingredients and let them speak for themselves. Seared steak with chunky home-cut oven chips and a medley of steamed vegetables will be very well-received. Just make sure that none of your guests is vegetarian, or else be prepared to make an alternative. A fool-proof and easy dessert is a brownie with a scoop of ice-cream.

When the eating is over, it’s time for some fun. This is the perfect time to get out the poker set and play a few hands. As it’s between friends, there’s no need to play for real money, although some small stakes can make it more interesting. For an amusing twist, get some silly glasses, wigs and hats, and invent characters for yourselves. The great thing about playing poker with friends is that you can practise all your strategies in a safe environment. One suggestion is that the overall winner has to take on hosting duties for the next dinner.

Hosting a party can be stressful, but if it’s well-organised and the food is not too ornate, it’s possible to enjoy yourself as much as your guests. The satisfaction of pulling off a successful evening will more than make up for the washing up that you’ll have to do.