Hosting a dinner party when you are a busy bee

A lot of you have been asking me about how to organize and host dinner parties in our relatively busy schedules.


At Denise we are convinced that planning in advance will ultimately make a dinner party that much easier to pull off so here are 7 precious tips for you to kill it with the limited time available ! 


1. Set the number of guests in advance and be strict about it. Last minute changes are a pain in terms of organization. If you organize a party of 6, your groceries can be scheduled for 6 plates and if during the week someone can’t make it – replace him by another sweety pie. If Amélia wants to join, nicely explain to her that you organized everything upfront and that she will be welcome another night.


2. Think about your decoration upfront. Make sure you have what you need in your drawer and go get any missing piece (candles, candleholder, vases, napkins, placemats, tablecloths,…). All of this can be prepared upfront, only the flowers needs to be picked-up on the day. If you have limited inspiration, check out Pinterest a few days ahead, it is a great place to search and create the perfect atmosphere.


3. Plan your menu : Careful, it’s never a good idea to try a new recipe when you are not so sure about your cooking skills. It is time-consuming and you don’t even know if you can do it right. I recommend to go for simple recipes, ideally that you can prep in advance, that perfectly matches with a great Pinot Noir. Who said pasta alla norma ?


4. Ask for grocery deliveries 2 days before : Denise is fond of grocery deliveries at home. Today, many companies offer you deliveries by bike and they are amazing. Do your grocery shopping during a coffee break at the office ! How can you better optimize your time than that ? Don’t forget to pass on your way home from the office by your favorite wine cellar for some “Pet Nat” and don’t forget the ice cubes for the Spritz!


5. Try to prepare as much as you can upfront : Pre-cook the vegetables and prepare your dessert. Be sure the trash and the dishwasher are empty for the next day. A guest always feels more welcomed in a sparkling space!


6. Set the table the night before : Your setting will be better and you’ll be able to notice anything you could potentially be missing from your mise en place ! This also allows you to optimize your busy schedule before your dinner.


7. Take a moment for yourself before the dinner : Have a glass of wine on your favorite song and take a moment for yourself before your guests arrive, you need to switch from busy bee to chilling bee.