How to throw a dinner party

Hi everyone, welcome back to my home and garden blog; Sarah in Charente.  

One of my favourite things to do at home, is to have ‘Around the World’ dinner parties with all my friends. We like to get dressed up and make food and drinks from an area around the world. We always aim to watch a movie from the area as well, but never get round to it after the drinks come out!


This month I held a mexican dinner party and invited 8 friends over.  We had margaritas, tacos, nachos etc and wore cheap cinco de mayo dresses.  I found some great cheap dresses for a bargain price here; After a smooth evening  I wanted to share with you my tips and some ideas on how to throw a dinner party – stress free.

How to throw a dinner party

Simplicity is the key

Trying to make everything at home can become a nightmare. Focus on making either cocktails, or hors d’oeuvres, rather than both. Either purchase one and make the other, or outsource one to a trusted friend.

Shop smart

Hor d’oeuvres are meant to tease the mouth, not be the main event. Shop for great ingredients and keep them simple will mean that your food shines through and you’re not left exhausted.


One of my favourite things for a dinner party is for everyone to get all dressed up and then provide my guests with accessories.  For our recent hippie night I found some great cheap ponchos from an online classified ads website. They were the best price and I found them here;

hippie poncho

Preparation is key

Make sure that you have most dishes prepared or ready to throw on the grill before guests arrive.  I like to cook meals which I can throw together the night before and then jazz up in the night. Salads can be chopped and left overnight and then the dressing added on the night.  I like to spend the evening before wearing my beloved work smock in the kitchen listening to some loud rock music.  For your own work smock, check out the best priced selection  


If you have friends attending who make a mean dessert, or run a bar get them to use their skills.  Obviously, don’t overstep the mark, but working together on the dinner party can be incredibly fun and rewarding.

Assign seats beforehand

Plan the seating based on people’s personalities.  Place the more outspoken characters towards the centre, and sit yourself next to shyer guests.  Try to avoid sitting couples together.  

Set the mood

Music should be decided in advance.  Create a playlist of music that sets the mood and make sure its long enough to last the dinner party without repeating songs.  Also, make sure the lighting is good enough. Dim the above head lights and use candles and lamps around the room.  Seeing as my house has a french feel and is very simplistic, I like to switch up the lampshades or add fairy lights.  

dinner party

Thanks for checking out my blog post.  If you haven’t had a chance to yet please check out my latest blog post on Pineapple Carrot cake.