27 Jul 16

10 top tips for stress free entertaining

Dinner parties are a superb way to get friends and family together for an evening of great food, wine and entertainment, but we’re no stranger to the fact they can involve a lot of planning and preparation! So, just for you, we’ve compiled our 10 Top Tips for stress-free entertaining to help you plan your next dinner party with ease. Enjoy!

1. Prep & plan!

A lot of the prepping of food can actually be achieved long before your guests arrive. Chopping vegetables, making marinades and slow-cooking meat are just a few examples of things you can do ahead of time. Not only will this make you less stressed upon your guest’s arrival, but you’ll have more time to spend socializing rather than being couped up in the kitchen all evening and missing out on all the conversation and catch-ups – probably the reason you planned the party in the first place!
dinner party cheese board

2. Create an atmosphere

The creation of an ambience will not only appeal to your guests, but will relax you as the host too. Why not dim the lights, light some candles, create some tables decorations and put on your favourite chill-out album?

3. Sharing spreads & cheese platters!

What can often be stressful about home entertaining is serving up and trying to work out who likes what! Sharing spreads not only save the bother of serving, but look great too! Antipasti spreads often go down a winner, or why not try our recipe for Cheddar and Horseradish Spread or check out our tips on how to create the perfect cheese board! Keeping it casual by putting spreads in the centre of the table and providing guests with side plates is the best way to create a chilled dinner party!

4. Dip, dip and more dip!

Similarly to sharing spreads, dips provide another easy appetizer for you to organize. There’s plenty of gorgeous dip recipes you can search for on Pinterest, which once you’ve made, can act as a flavorsome partner to chips and veggies.

bacon cheddar macaroni cheese5. Go with what you know!

Cook a recipe you’ve already tried before so you know it simply can’t go wrong! Why not practice one of our Westminster recipes – they’re simple to make, yet nonetheless impressive dinner-party dishes, that of course incorporate our luscious crowd-pleasing Westminster cheddar, and we all know you can’t go wrong with cheese!

6. Don’t over-complicate: less is more!

Simple, favourite dishes are often the tastiest! They’re popular for a reason! Don’t go thinking easy classics such as Mac and Cheese aren’t appropriate for your dinner party – our Gourmet Bacon and Truffle Oil Macaroni and Cheese is definitely more than enough to impress!

7. Don’t try to do it all!

Don’t go thinking you need appetizers, canapes, dips, cheeseboards, main meals, desserts and coffee – no one’s ever as hungry as the amount of food you prepare! Decide on two or three courses and stick to them. Or why not go for a completely relaxed ‘course-less’ feel and prepare one big spread for your guests to graze on throughout the evening!

8. It’s all about the condiments!

It’s true! All the best things are part of a pairing! Check out our seductive foods to partner with cheese, or our 15 chutney recipes to really spice up your party!

9. Don’t forget the drink!

For those alcohol-drinking guests, make sure glasses are full at all times! Why not have a cheeky glass yourself to relax you while you cook?! Not only will it relax the atmosphere, but wine in particular is the perfect accompaniment for cheese! Check out our interview with wine blogger Filivino to get to know the perfect pairings! If you want to host a party around the partnership, you can also check out our top tips on hosting the ultimate wine and cheese party!

10. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

Dinner parties and home entertaining are supposed to be pleasurable, or people wouldn’t have them! So don’t forget to relax, and if anything goes wrong, hey, there’s always the vino!


What are your top tips for stress free entertaining?! Let us know on Facebook or tweet us on Twitter!

Photo credit: Tina Carne, Flickr


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