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    Wednesday, 16 November 2016


    Now it's mid-November and Bonfire Night has been and gone I think it's officially okay to get excited about Christmas.

    I literally LOVE Christmas. This stretch between now and the big day is by far my favourite part of the year for two main reasons: the food and all the parties of course!

    To celebrate this, I've partnered with my favourite home-ware brand Robert Welch (you remember that Poke Bowl recipe I did with them right?) to share my tips for hosting your very own fab dinner party this Festive season!
    So first things, first - who are you inviting?

    Chances are you're not planning to host a dinner party for yourself so you'll need round up a fab group of people to invite round. While it might sound like the easiest decision ever - sometimes you do need to do a little forward planning.

    If it's just you and your BFFs you'll be fine - but try to think of the dynamics of the group if you're inviting partners along or if you're hosting a party with people from work who won't know anyone. 

    You want conversation to flow easily on the table so try to group people with common interests otherwise it could all get a little awkward trying to think of conversation starters. You may even want to consider having a table plan...

    Right so you've been brave and invited people round for dinner - now what the hell are you going to feed them!?

    Easy. I always say just serve them YOUR favourite food (if you're favourite food is beans on toast then maybe have a little re-think...but y'know you do what you want girl).

    Chances are if you enjoy the food, you'll have had practice making it before - and you'll know it tastes good. If you've never tried to make a soufflĂ© before, not is not the time hun. 

    I love Mexican so fajitas make brilliant sharing food at a dinner party (see you don't have to be formal). If you do want to seem a little more fancy though...what about Risotto or a roast you can put in the oven ahead of time?

    Any dish you can make ahead is always going to be a bonus!
    Food - check. People - check. Now for the fun bit...decorating!

    If you've got sharing dishes to eat you'll want to keep table decoration to a minimum but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. 

    Some colourful napkins or place-settings and freshly cut flowers will help to inject a bit of personality into the evening but you'll also want to think about the crockery too. 

    According to research, heavy cutlery actually makes food taste better so try and invest in a good set. I've always hated light-weight knives and forks which is why I couldn't live without my Robert Welch cutlery - I longed after my mum's for years before I eventually got my own. 

    So I'm also pleased to let you know that Robert Welch are currently selling a limited edition 30 piece set of their Malvern cutlery (which includes 6 steak knives) for a £39 saving on the individual pieces. This is definitely the way to go if you want to be an adult and buy a decent set of cutlery without having to spend a small fortune piecing it all together one by one! 

    All good parties have a theme so now is your chance to get creative and interactive for your guests to get involved with.

    This could be influenced by the food (think Mexican night) or by asking everyone to wear something specific (hello Christmas jumper party). It just helps to add an extra element to the night and turn it more into a party rather than just having your mates round your flat for dinner.  
    If you've got a good bunch of people in the room, I'm sure the atmosphere will be fab but there's lots of little things you can do to boost the mood.

    Background music is the first thing to consider - no-one wants an awkward silence or to listen to Janet who eats with her mouth open all night so just a little something in the background will help the  night flow better. 

    You could also consider having a competition during the meal! It's a total ice-breaker and can help break-up the wait between courses - especially if you need to nip out to the kitchen!

    This will inevitably fuel the atmosphere. 

    Want a raccous affair - great, start with sambuca. Want something a little more sophisticated, try some bubbles. It's completely up to you...but don't forget alcohol isn't the be all and end all of a party.

    There's nothing worse than only having water on offer for guest who aren't drinking so try to be creative. Have mocktails on offer if you're doing cocktails or cordials. Even just having the option of sparkling water and lime can go a long way in making people feel more comfortable about staying sober.
    Probably the most important tip of all! Don't spend so much time in the kitchen that you forget to actually enjoy yourself.

    I promise people will more likely remember having a great time with you - rather than any of the food you serve!

    This post was sponsored by Robert Welch
    All opinions are honest and my own

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