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Dinner Party Tips: How to be a Good Host

The last thing we want is to turn the fun times into a chaos of nerves, after all. Win at being a party host with our helpful tips.

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Wine and wine glasses

Reunions, get-togethers, and saluhans have always been a big part of Filipino culture. We love to gather all our friends and families (extended folks included) to catch up, exchange stories, and most importantly, share our specialty handa! And now that we can slowly bring back this festive occasion, albeit on a smaller, more safer scale, it’s the perfect time to start learning the tips and tricks to being the best party host! However, as any experienced party host will tell you, it’s not always easy to pull off the perfect party. Keep reading to learn how to be a good host, find inspiration in our great dinner party ideas, and pick up some essential tips for hosting.

As a party host, making sure your home is sparkling clean to receive your guests is key. Give every surface a wipe down with a multipurpose cleaner like Domex Multi-Purpose Cleaner ,particularly the table where the dinner is to be set. Give your bathrooms a deep clean too, with Domex Ultra Thick Bleach

Essential tips for hosting a party

As a party host, you want your dinner party to be a night every guest will enjoy. However, those inexperienced at hosting a dinner party will likely find the whole affair more intimidating than fun. To pull off the perfect party, pay attention to our essential tips for hosting a dinner party:

  1. Choose guests wisely: Ask these questions before finalizing the guestlist: Will each guest feel comfortable with the others? Is there any risk of tension? Also, pay close attention to the number of guests you invite. 4–6 is ideal, making for an intimate setting that's big enough to prevent awkward silences. If you have enough space, you could invite more people!

  2. Keep the food simple: When planning a dinner party, don’t make it a culinary challenge. It’s best to prepare dishes you’ve made before and that you know you can make. If you want to be a relaxed and engaging party host, cheat where you can! Bumili ka na lang ng ulam, pero mag-saing ka ng kanin!

  3. Create a soft and welcoming ambience: No one likes harsh lighting at a dinner party. Set the mood with soft, low lighting that creates a chilled atmosphere. Turn off overhead lights and use lamps or opulent-scented candles. Remember to have music playing as guests arrive to avoid any uncomfortable silences.

  4. Don't leave the entertainment to chance: Planning a dinner party isn’t all about the food and drink. You want your guests laughing and having a good time, too! While making dinner party ideas and planning your menu, consider adding a bit of extra entertainment. Bring out the karaoke machine to keep the party fun and entertaining with endless performances and birits from the in-laws!

  5. Shop early: Write a shopping list and try to stock up a week before the big event. Only leave perishable items until the day before to buy.

  6. Prepare your home for guests: Give everything a thorough clean and ensure your kitchen sink is empty— you'll have a lot to put in it by the end of the night! Take the garbage out and set up empty trash cans for waste and recycling so your guests can help your party be eco-friendly. Set the table the night before for less tasks to worry about. Lastly, make sure your table centerpiece isn’t too high, or your guests won't be able to see each other!

  7. Time your cooking: Make a list of what needs to go in the oven and at what time, working backwards from the time you want to serve everything. Consider resting time for foods such as meat to get the best flavor and texture, too. Make sure a few drinks and appetizers are ready before guests arrive so that no one goes hungry.

Selecting your dinner party menu: 3 golden rules

Now that you know the basics, here are 3 secrets to getting your dinner party menu just right:

  1. Choose dishes you can prepare early: Less time in the kitchen means more time entertaining. When selecting your dinner party menu, choose dishes you can prepare earlier in the day or even the day before. You’ll feel less stressed and won’t be as occupied with cooking and preparing during the party itself.

  2. Select simple yet delicious recipes: If you’re grasping for dinner party menu ideas, go for something hearty and simple. Hearty stews like caldereta or afritada make for a great dinner party ulam. For a summer party, inihaw na liempo will be a sure hit!

  3. Cater for everyone’s tastes: Remember to ask each guest if they have any special dietary requirements well in advance when planning a dinner party. Go easy with seasoning to allow for different palates, as your guests can always add a little more at the table if they want. If you’re serving something spicy, either provide a milder option or keep hot sauce on the table for those who like heat.

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Choosing your dinner party theme: Classic ideas

When planning a dinner party, you may want to assign a theme for the evening. Why not try one of these classics?

● Ihaw Party: A classic & popular summer theme everyone loves. Make use of your garden or backyard and sit outdoors.

● Murder Mystery: Add drama and intrigue by turning your party into a murder mystery role play. You’ll find a wide array of murder mystery party kits to choose from online.

● Masquerade: Glam it up with a masquerade ball dinner party. Have guests arrive in formal attire, and either instruct them to bring their own mask or supply them as party favors.

● Pizza Bar: Almost everyone loves pizza, so why not prepare a variety of different pizza flavors to serve buffet-style? You can also supply single-serve pizza bases with a variety of toppings so guests make their own.

● Movies, Books & Plays: Pay homage to your favorite film, book, or play by making it the theme of your dinner party. Serve appropriately-themed food and have your guests dress up as the characters!

Key party tips

Now that you’ve got how to be a good host under control, don’t let planning a dinner party cause you any stress! We’re sure these hosting tips will allow you to let go of the stress of the night and have a great time at your dinner party.

● Choose a theme for your party.

● Select food and drinks that match your theme and cater to everyone’s taste.

● Prepare as much as you can, as early as you can.

● Don’t forget to have fun with your guests!

Originally published