Luxury Lifestyle Specialists


Luxury Lifestyle Blog

Planning the
Dinner Party


As we are edging closer to summer months and with the relaxed Covid restrictions, many people are now turning the attention to entertaining at home. Whether you are looking to create the event yourself, or hire a Private Chef to support you, here are our top tips for planning a dinner party.

Advanced planning is key

Hosting can be a fun and creative experience as long as you manage your time well. Writing a bespoke timeline for yourself is essential to ensure things run smoothly with the least amount of stress and to prevent missing any details out.

Send out invites and confirm your guest list a month or so in advance and ask guests to mention any dietary requirements in their RSVP. Once guests and numbers are confirmed you can start planning the details!

Choose a theme

Luxury home with white flowers

Image – Alexander James Interiors

You don’t have to have a theme for your guests, but it could make for a more entertaining evening! The food will be the main focus for the event, but don’t forget the aesthetics – the environment, atmosphere; taking into consideration decorations, lighting, candles, flowers and music.

Consider what drinks you will serve your guests. The drinks should compliment the food menu and vice versa.

Planning a menu

You want to enjoy your special occasion and your guests rather than spending all your time in your kitchen so either hire a private chef or keep things simple for yourself! And simple doesn’t necessarily mean boring. Technically impressive dishes can be made simple by forward planning and advance preparation.

A top tip is to cook and serve your dinner party menu once or twice ahead of your dinner party, this will give you confidence to execute without too much stress on the day.

And try not to overcomplicate your menu. Your guests will be more impressed by a perfectly executed stew and dauphinoise potatoes than a plate with 10 poorly executed parts to it!

Maximise your time

Plan a pre-plated starter that can be served at room temperature to help you maximise time with you spend with your guests when they arrive. If you do need a little extra time in the kitchen, offering canapés on arrival will settle any hungry tummies whilst you deal with any last minute prep.

Added extras

Image – Alexander James Interiors

Make sure that you have the right quantities of crockery, cutlery and glassware for all guests. Place settings are a nice touch and will avoid confusion when you come to sit for dinner. But organise your table plan wisely as this can be a political minefield.

On the day

Image – Alexander James Interiors

First of all, make sure your kitchen is clean & clear! Organise the pans and utensils that you will need for each dish and arrange all of the food prep on your kitchen surfaces. You will need to execute your menu as quickly and effortlessly as possible so the plates that you need for each course should be easily accessible.

Set your table ahead of time. The table should include; place cards, mats, liners, candles, glasses, flowers, table runner, table cloths and napkins.

Light your candles, dim the lights and turn on your playlist before guests arrive. It’s worth remembering that if you are enjoy a enjoying an alcoholic drink with your guests, it is very easy to forget the finer details especially when it comes to the cooking, timing and plating of the food! So the more organised you are the better!


Planning a dinner party on your own can be a lot of work. So if you would like to book a private chef, waiting or bar staff to assist you with your dinner party, please get in touch: 01372 469 378 |


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