Entertaining: How to Host an Autumn Dinner Party on a Budget | Evans-Crittens | Family Lifestyle Travel & Recipe Blog, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Entertaining: How to Host an Autumn Dinner Party on a Budget



Impress your Guests with the Ultimate Dinner Party…Without Breaking the Bank 

If you haven’t already heard, staying in is the new going out. As much as we hate to admit it, the summer nights are coming to an end, it’s starting to get darker that little bit earlier, and before we know it, it will be time to turn the heating back on. Nobody feels like going out on a cold, rainy night, be it Friday or not…but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Dinner parties are a great way of staying in to avoid the busy and overpriced bars of your local town centre, but still having hours of good food and fun with loves ones….and you even get to wear your slippers! Of course, hosting a top notch dinner party can be pricey, but if you’re mindful about what you’re spending and plan well in advance, you can impress your guests, without the price tag.  


Plan the Menu 

Not only is planning a menu exciting (you could even send it out Come Dine with me Style) it will also save you buying and serving everything but the kitchen sink to your guests. Yes, there will be leftovers, but hopefully if you have a rough idea of the amount of guests you are buying for, what you are cooking and the snacks/drink you want to provide, you might not throw away as much. As for snacks, canapes are a great idea if you are feeling Fancy. Why not buy some cocktail sticks or mini style wooden skewers and provide a creative take on the good ole (vegan) cheese and pineapple? Great flavour combinations include sundried tomato and  vegan mozzarella, tofu and avocado and vegan ham and melon.  These are cheap, quick and easy to make and will look great on a platter! You also can’t go wrong with some good old chips and dip for guests to nibble on  - why not blitz some avocado, olive oil and lemon juice for a good old homemade Guacamole?  



Ask your Guests to Bring their Own 

Of course, you’re the host and feel obliged to provide for your guests, but supplying the booze all evening, as well as the food can definitely make the evening an expensive one. Why not provide a special cocktail as a ‘welcome drink’ such as Bellini’s made with prosecco or a Gin and cucumber mix and then kindly ask that guests bring their favourite wine to have with dinner? As long as you’re cooking up a storm, I’m sure your guests wouldn’t mind providing a bottle – it also means they can drink they’re preference, and you don’t have to worry about who likes what! 

Share the Dessert 

Often, dessert can come as an afterthought when it comes to hosting, and it can be all too tempting to provide something shop bought that is both pricey and not really that great in terms of taste. Providing a dessert ‘sharer’ is not only cheap to put together but is also a great way of encouraging guests to interact. A great dessert idea is a fondue set where you can melt  dairy free chocolate, put it in the middle and provide a range of dipping ingredients. To jazz it up, your menu could read ‘dipping adventure’. Fondue sets are relatively cheap to buy on Amazon or similar sites and if you have more than one, you can even provide different types of dipping flavours. As for the dipping ingredients, a range of fruit, marshmallows, digestive biscuits and even raw cacao truffles all provide amazing taste and entertainment. A definite dinner party winner. 

Your Decorations 

You don’t need a huge, fancy house to host a dinner party, but it helps if you have a kitchen space where you can cook safely. If you’re cooking from scratch, you are probably going to be chopping and grating and peeling a lot. Under cabinet lighting is cheap to install (especially the LED kind), lasts a long while and will ensure that you can see exactly what you are doing when it comes to using potentially dangerous utensils. Not only this, when switched on alone, they also act as great mood lighting when you want to create a little bit of an atmosphere – such as at a dinner party. 

Old School Entertainment 

Hiring all kinds of entertainment or buying a top of the range sound system isn’t necessary if your guests are open-minded and just up for a good time. Old school style party games such as Who am I? (all you need is sticky notes), some trivial pursuit question cards or even a silly pub quiz you’ve made up yourself will all be great fun (even more so when the drinks are flowing!) and will ensure your dinner party is sociable, lively and most important, a good laugh! 

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