5 steps to host the perfect neighbourhood dinner party

In celebration of Neighbour Day, held annually in March, what better way to bring a community together than over a shared meal. It may be an age-old tradition but a well thought out dinner party is a warm way to embrace those around you and to share a few laughs and tall tales while you’re at it!

Plan your own neighbourhood dinner party this March by following these five simple steps, to help you create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that your guests will be talking about for months.

Send out an invitation

While a neighbourhood dinner party leans away from being a formal occasion, there’s something to be said about sending an invitation to mark the occasion. Include the finer details and print it on lovely paper. Alternatively, you could embrace social media and send out a Facebook invite! 

Decide on your menu 

A three-course menu can be as elaborate or as simple as you like, but before you embark on an outing to your local supermarket it’s always smart to go in with a plan. When selecting your meals, keep in mind the number of guests that’ll be attending and keep the recipes fairly simple, with 80 per cent make-ahead dishes so you can spend more time with your guests.
A quick and tasty Autumn Harvest Apple Crumble is a great option for an easy (and delicious) dessert. For a sociable, modern twist some like to consider share plates or Tapas, where each guest brings their own plate and you share the dishes between the group. Be sure to allocate a course prior to the night to ensure there are no double-ups.

Dinner plates to share

The finer details 

Whether you’re trying to create a formal dinner or a casual affair, it’s always important to think about the décor and creating an atmosphere that your guests will enjoy. A formal meal may call for a crisp linen table cloth, elegant plates and silverware. For a lighter casual get together, add colourful table settings and fresh, vibrant blooms in a simple vase.  

Light up the evening

If you’ve ever walked into a restaurant and found yourself jarred with glaring lights in your eyes, you’ll know that a friendly dinner party calls for more ambient lighting. You can purchase low-light globes or simply put tea lights inside jam jars or decorative glasses to create a warm and welcoming feel – add a sprig of thyme to create a that extra aromatic touch. 
Mason jar with a tea light

Cue the music 

The tone of your dinner party is easily influenced by your music choices, so choose a playlist that reflects the nature of the occasion. You can also give your guests a little insight into your life by choosing a few songs that characterise you, or you could ask your guests to select a song so the table can guess who it belongs to!  
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