Dinner parties always seem like such a great idea. Good food, good company, and no limit on when you need to clear the table! However, when you’re the host, they quickly turn super stressful and leave you wondering why you signed up to host one in the first place. This is precisely why we came up with this easy dinner party guide, because we’ve been there (and we never want to go there again), and because it is possible to throw a dinner party, keep your sanity and your savings untouched!
The three things you want to ensure are out of the way in advance, are a good playlist, drinks, and dessert. That way, if everything else fails, you’ll still have a bunch of pretty happy guests. I know I wouldn’t mind wine and cake as my main!
It's best to set up drinks and a grazing platter in a corner you want your guests mingling around – the far end of the kitchen bench is always a good idea. Don’t overdo it with the grazing platter either, some cheese, olives and cured meats with crackers will do! Get this set up 30-40min prior to guests’ arrival time. Some always get in early and that way you can move on to the actual dinner prep without stressing.
Remember that the aim of your dinner party is to spend time with your friends, not slave away in the kitchen where tensions are high and your guests' can't talk to you. This is a dinner party with friends, not the Masterchef finale! That’s why the following main + sides recipes will allow you to relax, mingle, and be super proud of what you dished up.
Main: Slow Cooked Spiced Lamb Shoulder
Those magic words, slow-cooked – you’ll have it in the oven, cooking away, long before your guests arrive and the flavours will have everyone asking you for the recipe. Lucky it's 2019 and you'll shoot them this link!
Sides: Twice-roasted potatoes with onion, herbs and chilli
Potatoes are always a good idea and this concoction will have you wishing you could sit around and just eat a bowl of potatoes instead (guess what: you can!)
Salad: Pea, Mint and Roasted Almond Salad
Green, flavoursome, crunchy, and the best part.. can be made in advance and dressed before serving. WIN!
Dessert: Choc Raspberry Brownies
This could induce a food coma, don't say we didn't warn you. The most delicious and decadent brownies you'll ever taste. Make them in the morning and serve un a platter with mixed fruits. That way it's easy to avoid the requests that come around dessert (just a sliver, none for me, etc)
Finally, our biggest secret to an easy dinner party? Letting those expectations go! Enjoy yourself, prepare and the rest will take care of itself!