Entertaining at Home
Now that friendly indoor gatherings are back on the menu, we’ve collected five tips for hosting the perfect dinner party at home.
Published 03 September

If you’ve missed having your favourite people over for dinner, now’s the time to dress up, dust off your hosting skills and think about the elegant extras you can bring to the table for a home dinner party to remember.

Whether you opt to flex your culinary muscle or order a multi-course blowout from a local restaurant offering gourmet takeaway, there are a few key ingredients to remember when planning a flawless dinner party. Below are the five items at the top of our list.


Serve with verve

With the right servingware, you can make a bold style statement and amplify your culinary theme. From art deco-inspired trays and batch-cocktail dispensers to rustic wooden serving paddles and irregular-shaped ceramic platters (perfect for antipasto) to polished copper condiment pots and marble-effect porcelain dishes, there are plenty of ways to add some pizzazz to the dining table. As important as presentation is, there are other practical questions to ask yourself too, such as whether you have enough salad tongs or steak knives to go around.

For sophisticated crockery and kitchenware try: Le Creuset, MUJI, Myer

2. Le Creuset
3. Myer 




Lift your glass game

Coordinated glassware is a great way to bring a sense of occasion, and you don’t have to invest in fancy hand-blown crystal to make an impression. From frosted water tumblers (perhaps colour-matched with your plates) to sleek stemless wine glasses (less easy to tip over) to Gatsby-style Champagne coupes (for a real celebratory feel), there’s something deeply satisfying about sipping from a beautiful glass. An embossed water pitcher, pierced sangria jug or geometric wine decanter can top off your tablescape nicely. 

For attractive and affordable drinkware try: Top3, MUJI, Country Road 

1. Top3
3. Country Road

Add some floral flair

The centrepiece is critical to an Instagram-worthy table, which is where gorgeous spring flowers come in. Remember, you don’t want to overpower the delicious aromas of your cooking so bypass highly scented blooms such as peonies and roses. Likewise, avoid super-tall arrangements, which risk blocking your guests’ line of sight. DIY floral art by dotting solo stems or clutches of baby’s breath in mini bottles around the table. And if flowers aren’t your thing, pillar candles and floating tealights will add an instant warm glow to your event. 

For creative table decorations and candles try: Pepe's, Top3, David Jones

1. Pepe’s
2. Top3 
3. David Jones 

Dress the table to impress

To really take your dinner a cut above, break out some special placemats: think watercolour-printed linens, leather-look rectangles or fringed rattan rounds. Coloured linen napkins can add texture and personality, while a well-chosen table runner will go a long way to distinguishing your get-together from a regular dinner. Lay multiple runners widthways (handy for catching wax if you’re using lots of candles) or, if you have a round table, try layering two runners in a criss-cross formation.

For top-notch napery try: Bed Bath N’Table, Target, Country Road

1. Bed Bath N’ Table
2. Target
3. Country Road 

Set the mood

One crucial yet often overlooked element of a first-class dinner party is the soundtrack. Making a Spotify playlist ahead of time and checking your Bluetooth speaker is synced properly can help you shed any last-minute jitters after racing around preparing for your guests to arrive. Plus, your choice of tunes is bound to start a friendly debate or two.

For electronics to enliven your event try: Typo, Apple, JB Hi-Fi 

1. Apple
2. JB Hi-Fi 
3. Typo

Not super-keen to cook right now? Check out these eateries for gourmet takeaway options

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