Entertaining at home used to be considered a casual alternative to a night on the town. If you wanted a low-key, easy way to catch up with friends and relax, you would get them over to your place and either order takeout or cook a cheap and quick meal. Restaurants and bars were reserved for special occasions only – but these days things are quite different. Home entertaining has not only become more common in everyday society, but it has also become much fancier. People go all-out to impress with both their hosting and their cooking skills. After all, many of us have a natural need to nurture, and providing entertainment and quality food to those you care about can be a rewarding experience. There’s also no denying that it can be a bit of an ego-boost when people enjoy something you have done for them! So, if you’ve persuaded your loved ones to come round to your place instead of going out, you’re going to want to pull something off that truly makes it worth it for them. Here are a few ideas to help you add that extra bit of sparkle to your dinner party.
Nothing screams ‘posh event’ quite like a selection of canapes and appetizers – so why not try making some of your own? Typical practice for home entertaining is to throw some potato chips in a bowl and be done with it, but hand-making some pre-dinner treats shows that you’ve gone the extra mile. They can be quite fiddly to make if you’ve never done them before, so don’t try anything too ambitious just yet. There are plenty of flavorful yet simple combinations that won’t take a lot of time to make, but will still whet your guest’s appetite.
‘Bring a bottle’ is the usual protocol when it comes to having a meal with friends at home. However, if you want to treat your guests, ask them to leave the bottles at home – and YOU will provide the alcohol. This way, you can meticulously match the wines (or beers) to the food you are going to serve. Plus, you may want to invest in something a little harder for later in the evening, such as kikori whiskey. The spirits market has seen a huge resurgence in Japanese whiskey recently, so if you want to impress your guests, being knowledgeable about the most fashionable spirit around will certainly make your party one to remember.
A show-stopper dessert
Even if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth yourself, simply bringing out a beautiful dessert can be enough to take your dinner party to the next level. Thanks to shows like Cake Boss, and across the pond, The Great British Bake Off, desserts have become more and more outlandish in recent years. Think of your dessert as a centerpiece as well as a sugary way to finish off the meal – there are some amazing designs you can use as inspiration if you’re not sure where to start.