How to Host a Dinner Party

There is something to be said for bringing together good people, great food and lots of wine. At the root of Western philosophy, you'll find a dinner party. Since the days of Plato these gatherings have consisted of the same common factors: drunkenness, hiccups, no shoes, surprise drop in guest flirting - all amidst a lengthy, heated discussion on love.

A dinner party contains the flavour of life.

So here's what we're thinking:

It's the end of August. The afternoon is still a warm cool. It's almost Spring.

Hosting is one thing, but we're not pretending to be chefs - theme must be simple yet delicious.

Italian always wins.

Simplicity and authenticity are equally important in every culture’s cuisine, but it's an Italian notion to keep it simple.

For entree, keep it seasonal. Enjoying ingredients at their peak is a devotion to the rite of seasonal delicacy.

Tomatoes are a non-negotiable, but we want complimentary salads with figs, sides of warm asparagus and fresh olives, always.

A main course of pastas and lasagne.

Tiramisu for dessert.


Now, our favourite part.


A meal of this kind deserves a gentle, softness. Pillar candles illuminating centrepieces of fresh blooms, thyme, rosemary, oregano and lavender. Flames painting everything in a honey toned light - dim the lights.

Start with a tablecloth base.

No plastic. No paper.

The more neutral the base, the more you can experiment with colour without it being overwhelming. After the tablecloth is in place (please make sure it's even on each side), you layer.

Ensure everything is spread across the table evenly, leaving room for share plates and condiments. Starting with vases, position them in a way that the table is balanced - you want to make sure all of your guests can appreciate a whiff of fresh blooms.

Candles & candlestick holders. Unscented, and varying in height - it helps with balance and proportion.

From here, begin setting the table. Glass, silver and china make everything taste better. Cutlery, plates and glasses for water and wine.

Where to start

Choose a date and time that suits both you and your guests. Weekend evenings are often ideal, as they allow everyone to unwind and enjoy the evening without the rush of work or other commitments.

Relax the Dress Code

It's an intimate and cozy atmosphere. Provide an easygoing approach for your guests to allow for suit and ties or sneakers. You're advocating great food and great company, however that looks.

To do:

  1. Create your guest list
  2. Invite your guests (important)
  3. Choose the atmosphere and aesthetic you want
  4. Plan menu (we went with Italian - who doesn't love pasta)
  5. Plan serving dishes, making sure you have enough
  6. Make a playlist

To buy:

  • Table & chairs
  • Tablecloth
  • Ingredients
  • Drinks
  • Any extra plates, bowls, cutlery or glasses you may need
  • Decor; candles, flowers, placemats, name cards.

Cheers to the art of gracious hosting and a fabulous night!