Preparing a perfect dinner party with Forman & Field

The warmer weather is fast approaching and I’m already looking forward to hosting summer soirees with friends and family at home.

Guy and I love nothing more than planning a good old dinner party – from choosing the wines and perfecting the ideal cocktail through to setting the table and making a delicious dinner – hosting is something we love to do for our loved ones and we’re always looking for ways to make things extra special.

With that in mind, today I’m partnering with the amazing Forman & Field to share my top five tips for a fabulous dinner party at home. Let’s tuck in!

1. Plan a menu that’s unique and exciting, but easy to make – I like to plan dishes that have got a little ‘wow’ factor, but won’t mean we’re stuck in the kitchen all evening instead of catching up with our guests. For this, preparation is key. Forman and Field have a whole ‘Dinner Party‘ section of their site where you can browse a wide range of entire menus (think Deluxe Dinner for Two or Gourmet Dinner for Four) or individual dishes, sides and accompaniments – all you need to do is pop them in the oven before serving!

I’m eyeing up this Artichoke & Wild Mushroom en Croute, Smoked Salmon Pate and Black Cod Skewers to name a few.

2. Choose a selection of complimentary cheeses – I haven’t got much of a sweet tooth, and if we’re treating ourselves to a fancy dinner, I’ll always opt for a cheeseboard over a dessert or cake. I recommend choosing three or four classic cheeses (I’d suggest a Cheddar, a Stilton, a Goats Cheese and a Camembert, for example) and if you’re feeling fancy, add in a wild card like an Eve’s Cheese with deep, rich and savoury flavours.

For ease, you can also order a pre-prepared cheeseboard like this Classic Cheese Box, featuring five traditional cheeses, hand-picked by experts, that are the very best in their class. Guaranteed to have something all of your guests will enjoy!

3. Have fun with your tablescape – I’m a big fan of a funky tablescape and I love to decorate our dining table for different occasions – whether we’ve got guests or not! I experiment with different place mats and place settings, lay out my favourite glassware and brass cutlery and add in colourful napkins and delicious smelling candles. If we’re setting up for a particular occasion (like Valentine’s Day, a birthday or Easter, for example), I’ll also add in some themed accessories like trinkets or decorations.

4. Wow your guests with personalised place settings & customised menus – Taking the tablescaping tip one step further, I love to add in personalised place settings and custom menus for a truly special occasion. You can get these printed locally (or get creative by designing and printing from your desk at home!) or even get crafty and hand design them, but a personalised memento of the evening always goes down well with guests who appreciate the extra effort.

5. Last but definitely not least – drinks! – For a dinner party at home, I’ll always have a selection of red and white wines on hand alongside beers and spirits. Cocktails are always a fun addition, but like your culinary menu, I’d recommend pre-preparing where possible and keeping things simple for you on the night. Kits like this Bloody Mary Box come with everything you’ll need (so you’re not rooting around your cupboards for that random, obscure ingredient!) and are perfect for those boozy brunch settings at home.

Forman & Field is a gourmet food home delivery service, priding itself in sourcing the finest foods from across the British Isles and delivering them to doorsteps as fresh as can be From fish and meat through to cheese and charcuterie, all of their products are the very best they can find.

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