Ever fancied yourself as the star of Come Dine with Me? Found yourself watching the show and thinking you could do better? Whether you’ve got friends or family round, or are hosting your very own CDWM at home, we’ve got three ideas for three dinner parties that are sure to knock the socks off your guests, and get you those all-important 10’s when it comes to scoring.
All the very best dinner parties have a theme, and what could be better than an Asian banquet? Delicate tempura, paper lanterns and twinkly background music make this dinner party perfect for a gathering with friends.
Starter: Prawn Tempura
Kick your evening off with a big platter of light and airy tempura battered prawns. Serve on a big plate with a little light salad and a bowl of soy sauce for dipping. An impressive, yet minimal-effort starter that will delight your guests.
Main: Tonkatsu Pork
Crispy, crunchy, salty. What’s not to love? This traditional Japanese dish with its rich sauce is perfect served with shredded cabbage and a good serving of rice.
A little guilt-free side is always welcome. Rosie’s delicious fried-rice alternative uses cauliflower instead of rice. It’s just as delicious but much lighter, meaning you can eat more. Right?
Dessert: Cranberry Japanese Cheesecake
You might not think that cheesecake is very Japanese but trust us, it is. Japanese cheesecakes are lighter and fluffier than their American counterparts. If you don’t like cranberries, why not top with another fruit such as passionfruit, strawberries, or blueberries. Anything goes!
Music: Sushi Lounge
A relaxing set of chilled tunes that act as the perfect background for your Asian feast.
Japan is renowned for its simple and clean lines. Keep the colours basic; red, white and black always work nicely together. Bamboo placemats and little green plants add a calm and zen-like feel. Paper lanterns are incredibly cheap, as are lantern fairy lights which, when hung from the ceiling or draped round furniture will finish the look off perfectly.
Hearty Italian Feast
What could be better than a big, hearty Italian feast? At the very heart of Italian food is family; swapping and passing big bowls of delicious food up and down the table, endless chatter, laughter, and, of course, plenty of wine! Grab a big red and white checked tablecloth and spread it over the table. There’s no need for fussy cutlery or place settings.
Starter: Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
What better way to kick off your Italian feast than with a family sized batch of crispy bruschetta with a fragrant tomato and basil topping? Make your tomato and basil sauce ahead of time and just grill up the bread when all your guests are ready to eat. Simple and delicious.
You don’t want to be spending your time slaving over the stove whilst your guests are having a good time. This dish can also be made ahead of time so you can sit back and relax. Stick it in the oven whilst your guests are eating their starters and it’ll be ready in no time. Serve with a side of crusty bread to mop up all of the sauce at the end.
Dessert: Peach Zabaglione
Finish off your Italian feast with this refreshing zabaglione. Rich peaches and sherry combine to make a sweet yet airy dessert that will cleanse the palette and round things off perfectly.
Music: The Perfect Italian Dinner
A relaxing mixture of old classics that both soothe and relax. Perfect for setting the mood and sipping wine to. Turn it down low and let it play.
As we said earlier, a big red and white checked tablecloth will add an instant Italian feel to your evening. Bread baskets, little bowls of olive oil and balsamic, simple place settings, wine glasses and some tea light candles finish off the look. If you’re hosting your dinner party al fresco, why not invest in some solar powered fairy lights which turn on automatically when dusk sets in for a romantic twinkly finish.
Best of British
When it comes to a dinner party, the Brits know how to do it. From picnics in the park to silver service, a British-themed dinner is versatile and great for all occasions. Why not serve your drinks in china teacups and turn those Great British classics up loud for a night you’ll never forget.
Starter: Ham and Pea Soup
Andy Bates’ delicious ham and pea soup is packed full of flavour, and light enough that your guests won’t be stuffed by the time your main course is ready. Serve with a little crusty bread on the side to get to those final few spoonful’s at the bottom of the bowl.
Main: Stout and Beef Pie
The crowning glory of your dinner party; a piping hot, gloriously bronzed, rich and meaty pie. Down to earth and luxurious at the same time, serve it up whole and dish it out at the table for a good dose of British family time.
Dessert: Banoffi Pie
If there’s one thing we do well, it’s desserts. From crumbles to pavlovas and trifles, the options are endless. Let the main course go down before digging in to this decadent Banoffi pie.
Music: The Best of British
British flags, red telephone booths, bunting, china cups and checked tablecloths come together for an eclectic, quintessentially British finish.
Do you have any hints and tips for hosting a perfect dinner party? We’d love to hear from you!