Dinner parties are such fun and such a great break from the daily struggle of too-much-to-do, but by their mere nature, they require planning. Planning takes time many of us don’t have. So here is a guide to putting together a fun evening with your friends without using up the little bit of petrol you have left in the tank at the end of the day or week.

Here are some great tips for hosting a dinner party that will ensure you have a great time too.

1. The most important part of the dinner party is the food. But slaving away in the kitchen is not necessary and there’s no shame at all in hiring a caterer. Serve great tasting simple foods from BedouinCaf√© & Deli at The Cape Quarter in Cape Town. They make their very own artisanal labneh cream cheese, which is a feature of many of their dishes at the deli, and much of the food is suitable for vegetarians, taking out the headache of making sure that everyone’s dietary needs are met. Tapas and finger foods are a convivial and fun option that require very little complicated on-day preparation.

2. Make serving your guests drinks a little easier. Put together a drinks tray with various beverages for your guest, where they can go and refill their glasses when they want to. All you will have to do it refill the bottles and jugs every so often. Keep a couple of extra bottles chilled and ready.

3. It is also important to make sure that your guests have the option of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks because no one wants to send a drunk guest driving home. Here is a simple recipe for a delicious and fresh cocktail, that is delicious with or without alcohol. Make a jug of each just in case.
Mango Peach Fizz

1 Large Peach
1 Ripe Mango
½ Cup Of Orange Juice
Peach Schnapps (To Taste)
Peach Flavoured water/Soda water (Non-Alcoholic)

1) Pit and cube the fresh peach and mango

2) Place in a blender

3) Add Orange Juice and peach schnapps, to taste or add peach flavoured water or plain soda water for the non-alcoholic option

4. There is no need to go extravagant when trying to create a good atmosphere. Do something as simple as creating a playlist of great songs, and leaving it on shuffle and loop all night. Placing a few lit candles around also adds to the atmosphere.

5. Make dessert simple by providing prettily wrapped chocolates in a glass bowl and a pot of freshly made coffee. Or make it interactive with ice-cream scooped into a pretty bowl and a variety of fun toppings – like crushed nuts or grated chocolate or berries – spread around the table for guests to make up their dessert to their own preferences. Another simple after-dinner sweet is a rich, creamy liqueur.

6. Party favours are really nice but not always necessary. For something simple, guests can receive a card with a sweet note, or something even simpler like a quirky key chain.

While the food is important, nothing spoils a dinner party like a stressed-out host or hostess. The point is to have fun and fun is easier to have when the preparation is simple.

So stop making excuses, and make some fun.

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