Lifestyle brand Samsung and Debrett’s, the definitive source on British social skills, etiquette and style, have put together a fabulous guide to ensure that you are the ‘hostess with the mostess’ next time you entertain at home.
A well-organised dinner party will be a successful dinner party. That means planning the entire evening in advance, not just the food. Remember, being a good host is hard work. Hosts must be aware of all of their guests all of the time. The host must ensure that everyone settles into the evening, feels relaxed and convivial and has a thoroughly good time.[callout title=WINE ESSENTIALS]Red wine should be served just below room temperature. Red wine glasses have a large, round bowl to allow for plenty of aeration to enhance the flavour and bouquet.
Good bottles of red wine should be decanted a couple of hours before they are drunk. This separates the mature wine from the sediment.
Red Bordeaux should be referred to as Claret.
White wine is served chilled. White wine glasses are narrower and less bulbous than red wine glasses; this preserves the delicate aromas of the wine by allowing some, but not too much, aeration.
Fine white wine only needs a short time in the fridge; too much chilling will hide the complexity of good wines.[/callout]
How To Be A Good Host
A host must be confident that all the guests have plenty to eat and drink, and someone to talk to. Initiate conversations and introductions where necessary and keep a look out for guests who are being ignored.
Make sure you can spend time with your guests: don’t allow yourself to be waylaid into an intimate tête à tête while other guests are struggling for conversation, or find yourself slaving away in the kitchen when you should be socialising.
Don’t force people to drink more than they wish and never pressurise non-drinkers. Always have plenty of water on the table.
Never force second-helpings on people.
Guest list: consider the guest list carefully. Aim for a light-hearted social frisson rather than confrontation.
Tone: make the formality of the event clear to your guests – especially if you want people to dress up or down.
Menu: keep it balanced and within your capabilities. A simple tried an tested menu will inevitably be more successful than an elaborate disaster.
Preparation: any food that can be prepared in advance (marinades, slow cooked stews and so on) can be stored in the fridge, reducing panic on the day.
ON THE DAY
Get ready: do as much as you can beforehand – laying the table, preparing food, making a playlist – you can then spend more time with your guests.
Tidy up: ensure that your house looks at its best. Equip the cloakroom with fresh towels and guest soaps and allocate a place to stow coats and umbrellas.
Ambience: make your home feel welcoming. A good host will be relaxed with their guests and accept any spillages or mishaps with good grace.
Tabletop: flower arrangements should be low enough to allow guests to see each other over the top of them.
Relax: allowing yourself enough time to linger over a soothing bath and get dressed for dinner will ensure that you’re ready for the evening to start.
Teamwork: if you’re hosting as a couple, it’s sensible to allocate responsibilities; if one of you cooks/serves, then the other can get drinks and clear.
The Ultimate Dinner Party Fridge
Every dinner party host will appreciate the role of a good fridge when they’re planning a get-together. Planning ahead is so much easier when fridge capacity and temperature isn’t something they have to worry about.
The ultimate fridge for home entertaining is the Samsung RF24 fridge can easily accommodate the substantial amounts of food and drink that are essential for the dinner party host.
In the main fridge, double doors that open wide mean that large platters can be easily accommodated, while a Slide & Fold shelf means tall bottles or containers are easily stored. A Flex Zone mid-drawer has four pre-set temperature settings and a Smart Divider for simple organisation– ideal for the busy host as it means they can store all sorts of food.
The sleek, stainless steel four-door blends perfectly into kitchens of different styles and sizes. It is designed to be UK kitchen-counter depth, so you won’t have to sacrifice half your kitchen space to fit it in, and the mid-drawer is conveniently aligned at counter height.
FOR BUSY HOSTS…
1. BIG CAPACITY 510 litres of space should satisfy even the most ambitious of hosts… Even large platters of canapés, or generous supplies of white wine and champagne should not pose a storage problem.
2. FLEXIBLE STORAGE A Slide & Fold shelf and deep, wide door storage means that bulkier and taller items, such as bottles of white wine, can easily be accommodated.
3. TEMPERATURE CONTROL The Flex Zone drawer has four distinct temperature settings; -1°C, 1°C, 3°C and 5°C meaning the host can select a temperature that is ideal for the complete range of dinner party foods – from meat and fish to deli platters and cold drinks.
4. ORGANISATIONAL DIVIDERS The Smart Divider consists of slim metal guides that glide back and forth, enabling the user to divide the Flex Zone drawer however suits them best. Harassed hosts will love the ease with which they can organise their food and drink.
5. ICE MAKER The ice maker is slimline and unobtrusive, and creates either cubed or crushed ice. Ideal for aperitifs, soft drinks and jugs of water…
6. COOL LIGHT Energy-efficient LED lighting ensures that every corner of the fridge is brightly illuminated, meaning you can find those vital ingredients with speed and ease.