One of my favourite things to do is to host dinner parties. For me, gathering a community of great company and feeding them delicious food is an act of showing appreciation and love. A successful dinner party is when there is a good flow of conversation, a positive energy, good food and drink, a fitting ambience, and of course the right mix of people. Here are a few tips on how to host a memorable summer dinner party:
Location – If you cannot host the party in your own home, find a venue that has a high-energy vibe, staff equipped to accommodate large groups and a menu that has a price point that won’t deter your guests. As a host (unless you are paying for the whole meal), you should be considerate of the budget of the people you invite. Some great venues in Vancouver for hosting large dinner parties include: Cuchillo, Homer Street Cafe, Chambar and Coast.
Guests – If you are a guest at a dinner party, show up. When I say ‘show up’ that means you attend with the intention of socializing, meeting people, contributing to conversation and engaging. If you are a host, choose people that you think will flow well together and if need be, create the seating arrangement according to who you think would connect well. Being able to connect others is a skill and a gift, so don’t be shy about being strategic on who comes and who sits where. If you have a friend that is more of an introvert, place them next to someone you know they’d feel more comfortable around. If you invite someone who is anti-social, always on their phone and disengaged, it will bring down the energy of the group and disrupt the flow.
Food – If you’re organizing a large group of people, it’s inevitable that some will show up late. In your invite, have the start time 15-30 minutes earlier. This will allow for people who arrive first to have drinks. Since people will be hungry by the time all guests show, it’s ideal if you think in advance and have snacks or cold appetizers so people can have small bites while waiting. I was recently sponsored by Pringles to throw a summer party, and we arranged to have our favourite Pringles chips at the table for everyone while we had cocktails and waited for dinner to be served. Hangry guests are the worst kind, so this was a perfect arrangement.
That being said, when my favourite childhood chip brand approached me to throw a summer party, I was game. Below are some photos of our fun dinner party and a big thanks to Pringles for making it happen. If you want to win a prize pack of your favourite Pringles, leave a comment below with a tip on how to be a good host/guest at a dinner party, and you can win a supply of Pringles for you to use at your next party.