How to Throw a Dinner Party With Minimal Effort

There’s no need to spend hours in the kitchen preparing for your dinner party, if you don’t want to. Of course for some people that’s part of the fun; they love putting their time and effort into it, and the process is just as enjoyable as the event itself.

But maybe you just don’t have the time for all that, but you’d still love to host your own event and bring people together. If that sounds like you, here are some top tips to help you run a seamless dinner party with the least stress and effort possible, and still have it turn out great.

The simplest way is to order the food in, which we covered in another blog post.

But if that’s not your style, there are other ways to do it. You could ask your guests to bring a dish to the table. On the Dinner Circle website you just select the Bring & Share option when you’re creating your event, choose which course you will provide, and we let your guests know what to do. This works especially well for themed evenings like tapas of Mexican nights.

Simple is beautiful

If you do decide to prepare the food yourself, we recommend you do something simple, and preferably that you’ve done before, so you know you can do it and how long it takes. Meals don’t have to be busy and complex; often simple is better. Two courses are perfectly fine, although you can knock together a simple first course like bruschetta quite quickly.

If you’d like a few ideas for simple meal suggestions, there are some recommendations at the bottom of this post.

Here’s a Mike top tip: A simple sauce,from a packet or a jar, can turn any ‘meat and two veg’ dish into a dinner party meal. Add a sprig of parsley and it’ll look like you ordered it from a restaurant.

Lucy loves using Pintrest and is a much better cook than me, there are so many great recipe sites out there. The extra bonus is that most now can put the ingredients in a shopping trolley for online delivery, which is a great time saver.

Prep and relax

As with anything, preparation is the key to less stress and a better result. Do as much as you can the night before. Chop your vegetables and put them in a sandwich bag or box in the fridge, set the table, choose a nice playlist (classical jazz or Rat Pack are our favourites), get everything out that you need when you’re cooking.

Invite a friend to help

Why not invite a friend to come along and support you? They can enjoy a fabulous evening with great food, and possibly meet some new friends; and in return all they have to do is help with the washing up! It’s really not that cheeky to ask for help, and most people actually prefer it if they feel they’ve chipped in.

Order your food to be delivered

You don’t even need to go shopping, just spend a few minutes ordering your food online and have it delivered fresh to your door. Whilst you’re there you can get the wine, some candles and even any bits you need like napkins, often from the same store. Marks & Spencer have an entire party food section on their website.

Get the slow cooker out

If you have a slow cooker hidden away in a cupboard somewhere, this is the perfect opportunity to use it! You can do literally all the preparation the night before, and just put it all in the slow cooker and switch it on in the morning. There are some great recipes here if you’d like a few ideas.

So there you go; you can have your cake and eat it too (without spending hours making it!)

Here are a few simple and delicious dishes, for a bit of inspiration!

One pan duck with Savoy cabbage (BBC Good Food)

Baked salmon and potato parcels (Delicious Magazine)

Lobster mac n cheese (Good Housekeeping)

Jamie’s roasted squash couscous salad

Jamie’s devils on horseback


Mike Cassidy-Hogg

Dinner Circle Co-founder

#SharingEconomy #EatTogether #DinnerParty #HumanConnection #JoinDinnerCircle #BeInteresting #Food #DinnerPartyCulture

#RealRelationships #FoodPoverty #FeedTheWorld

#Etiquette #FabulousHost #DinnerPartyMadeEasy #PerfectGuest


Previous Post

Published by on 17-03-2017

How to Throw a Dinner Party Without Cooking Anything

Dinner parties aren’t just about the food, although that’s kind of an essential ingredient! They’re about bringing people together, meeting new friends and creating relationships.


Next Post

Published by on 17-03-2017

How to be a Perfect Guest

After each Dinner Circle dinner party, the host can review their guests on Punctuality, Courtesy and Participation. Reviews build trust and community, but we chose those things because they’re also the secret ingredients to being a great guest. And one who gets invited back again and again.

Meet new friends for the future
Turning virtual relationships into real ones.