How to Host the Perfect Winter Dinner Party

By  December 10, 2013

The holidays are jam-packed with social events, so it can be nice to have some downtime come January 1. But if you’re itching to throw a party—which, let’s face it, we can’t avoid undertaking for long—here are a few tips for hosting a winter dinner gathering that will knock the woolen socks off your guests.

   

1. 

Request that your guests dress in cozy-but-chic attire to get them in the wintry mood.

 
2. 

Make a big batch of warm cocktails and allow guests to help themselves to free up some of your hostess duties so you can greet and socialize.

 
3. 

Build a gorgeous fire.

 

4. 

Using a few yards of seasonal fabric or a roll of wrapping paper, you can give your dinner party a winter-themed tablescape. For my own party, I chose to use a plaid fabric across the entire table, accented with gold chargers, white dinnerware, and gold flatware.

 
5. 

Always print a menu of your dinner, even if the dishes are simple.  A printed menu shows guests you’ve put care and thought into the meal. Plus, it gets them excited to eat the food!

 
6. 

Arrange a collection of tapered candles down the center of your table instead of fresh florals, which can be scarce during winter months.  They are quick to assemble and create a dramatic ambience.

 
7. 

Hide a surprise conversation topic under the salad plate for each guest to discover before the entrée course. Print out lighthearted questions to get your guests telling stories that might not otherwise make it into the conversation.