How To Host A Dinner Party, 7 Easy Entertaining Tips

Updated: 15 hours ago

Partly because they are simply fun, dinner parties are on the rise. Plus good conversion mixed with good food makes the world go around.


by Laura Ashley


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After the guest list has been set, here are our tips for getting the perfect combination of food, guests and ambience to give each gathering its own special magic.

1. Plan in Advance


Set a timeline but be realistic about what you can do and when. If you have time to get your home sparkling clean and the table set but don’t have time to cook a fancy meal, call in help when you need it. Our favourite entertaining trick when you are too busy to cook but not too busy to host is to enlist a local restaurant. Have them prepare a meal and heat and serve in your own bakeware. It looks home-cooked but is made by the pros.


Heritage Dinnerware Collection

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2. Gather the Essentials


About one week before, create a list of the dinnerware you will need to serve each course and make sure you have enough for each guest. Even if the main dish is the star of the show, don’t forget about the other courses and the essentials you will need, such as dessert plates, bowls for soup, or mugs for after-dinner coffee.


Heritage Dinnerware Collection

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2. Pick Pretty Plates


If you want to add an extra flair to the table, look for plates with interesting shapes, patterns that excite you, or colours that speak to you. The new Heritage dinnerware collection includes a refreshed traditional floral print that was inspired by the Elveden design, which originated from an antique Edwardian chintz textile from the Laura Ashley archive.


Heritage Dinnerware Collection

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4. The Tablescape Counts


Decide on a colour scheme for the table and play it up with the plates, table linens, decor, candles and flowers. Embrace the decorator’s rule of odd numbers when setting the table. For a surprisingly modern tablescape, stick to one colour and play it up from the plates to the table linens. Or for an eclectic table setting, choose three complementary colours to create a very mix and match English countryside look.


Heritage Dinnerware Collection

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5. Make the Table Bloom


Two days before your dinner party, create the centrepiece using flowers from your garden or the local market. If designing one centrepiece is too much pressure, group florals in small vases and place them along the centre of the table. Citrus is a simple and unexpected way to add a pop of colour if your tablescape needs a little something extra.


Blueprint Dinnerware Collection

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6. Prepare for the Party Like a Pro


Make a list of what you need at the market, so you only have to go once and cook as much as you can a day in advance. This will make the dinner party day less stressful. Being a happy host is one of the most important things you can do to set the stage for success. And don’t forget the beverages. It is also important to have well-stocked drink options for your guests.


Blueprint Dinnerware Collection

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7. Make a Playlist


The most memorable dinner parties are unique and often offer something special. Set the tone with music to get everyone, including you as the hostess, in the mood to enjoy the night! If you have a fireplace, light it for an extra cozy room. Go to Cottage Lush Playlists >



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