Dinner parties can be both a dream and a nightmare if you’re rushed off your feet. Between planning, cooking and keeping the conversation (and the drinks) flowing, sometimes you wish it would all just come together with the wave of a wand!
We asked some of our favourite bloggers what their ultimate dinner party would be if time, budget, and cooking skills were no object: who would you invite, what would you eat, and who would be left with the washing-up afterwards?
“As a busy mum of two, I often dream of getting away from it all, so when Finish asked me to come up with my Ultimate Dinner Party, it wasn’t hard to imagine what that would entail.
First off, it goes without saying that the party would be an adults-only affair (sorry kids!). Ernest Hemingway had a great saying about Madrid, describing it as a city where nobody goes to bed until they have killed the night, and having visited there recently and fallen in love with the place, the city would be the perfect backdrop for my ultimate dinner party.
For me, a perfect evening would be all about the food, the drink and the good company. People often fantasise about the celebrities they would invite to their ultimate dinner party, but I prefer the company of good friends over strangers so my friends would all be there, including friends who live thousands of miles away and who I haven’t seen in years.
The setting would be 1920’s for the sheer glamour and style of it. We would start off with cocktails and canapés before moving on to heaving plates of mouth-watering tapas to share and happily chatter over. The wine would be flowing and so would the conversation.
We would toast to music from Patty Smith, Bruce Springsteen and Lou Reed and be treated to a stand-up routine from Bill Hicks. Dessert would feature the finest macaroons from the Champs Élysée in Paris and freshly brewed Blue Mountain coffee.
The clean-up would be minimal - cloudy glasses and greasy plates would be whipped out from under us and into the dishwasher so we could concentrate on making sure the night was well and truly dead before bidding adieu.”
By Aedín @Minis and Mum
“I adore a classic dinner party. We don’t often get the chance to host them these days but I adore the recipe planning and having a proper grown-up evening every now and then.
My dream dinner party would be a rather different affair however. Ideally it would be a perfectly warm evening and I’d have a beautiful table set up in an outside courtyard. I envision an Italian vineyard. Remember this is my ultimate vision for a dinner party so I’m allowed to aim high!
What would we eat? I would cook of course, I love spending hours in the kitchen preparing new meals. I always tend to serve quite simple but crowd-pleasing starters, like a baked Camembert with torn crusty bread. Gooey melted cheese always goes down well I think. For the main course perhaps fillet steak with béarnaise sauce, chunky homemade chips and some creamed spinach. Yum! For dessert I do love citrus flavours so I’d opt for lemon tart.
All would be washed down with copious amounts of red wine, perhaps a Chilean Merlot or Argentinian Malbec.
As it’s the dream dinner party, no one would have to wash up of course. Just stack the dishwasher and go. I’d leave that to the husband.
Entertainment would be very low key; just some music in the background and perhaps a board game after? You can’t beat a bit of friendly competition. Trivial Pursuit has to be the ultimate board game of choice - there’s always a category for everyone.
Then home time, with slightly fuzzy heads and very full bellies – the perfect ending.”
By Sian @Potty Mouthed Mummy
“I enjoy cooking when it’s for fun - I can make a great batch of brownies but it takes all afternoon. So when it comes to cooking an actual meal for other people to eat, I am not qualified!
I may not be a great chef but I love good food so I’d hire a chef. Gordon Ramsey would be my first choice for amazing food, although I think he might get a bit angry, so I’d probably have Jamie Oliver in to make some more homely food instead. I want an amazing three-course meal with something super delicious for dessert! Then he can join us as a guest too!
As for my other guests, I’d love to invite a musician to play us some songs and a comedian to keep everyone laughing throughout the night!
Of course this is my dream dinner party and no one dreams about doing the dishes after everyone has left so I’d hire a butler to do that. He can load up the dishwasher with something that will make all the cloudy glasses sparkle and shine, like Finish. He can then clear everything up while I get ready for bed!”
By Georgina @Georgina Does