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How to Host a Dinner Party

HG Entertaiins

How to Host a Dinner Party

A Guide to Success

When it comes to shorter days and longer nights, hosting a dinner party is one way to settle into these colder, darker months. There are lots of reasons that prevent us from entertaining at home, much of it having to do with the prep involved, but the reality is that not doing so denies you of one of life's great pleasures - the company of good friends. To help you achieve a stress-free and fun-filled gathering, here are a few guidelines that will help you throw your next dinner party. We think that entertaining today is less about perfection and formality and more about creating casual yet sophisticated gatherings. After all, it's the company that counts.


A dinner party is a great way to introduce new people, but make sure you include good friends or great conversationalists whose ease will invite others to relax (seat them in the middle of the table). When imagining your guests, consider shared interests or professional fields as great connectors. And keep in mind the number 8 - it's known to be the perfect number around the dinner table.


Lose the need to make the entire meal and outsource part of your dinner to a caterer or local fine food store (our local faves include The Salt & Pepper Catering Co., Rosedale's Finest or Emma's Eatery). This way, you're not exhausted by the time your guests arrive.

Plan in Advance

Have a pitcher of cocktails ready so you're not stuck in the kitchen making drinks. Pick a main course that's already cooked and just needs warming. Create flow and shake up conversations by serving dessert in the living room. And get that playlist set so you're not worrying about music.

Mix and Match

Don't give a second thought to mixing serving pieces and dinnerware if you don't have the quantities you need. The perfect dinner party is a mash up of formal and informal tableware, new and old friends, modern music and jazz standards.

Bring Cozy Back

Ditch the BBQ for a warm, earthy recipe, like this one. Pair it with rich red wines. Kill or dim overhead lighting and stock up on candles (try black or grey for a moodier atmosphere).  Use cloth napkins and try a tablecloth; it's guaranteed to bring cozy back. 

Set the Tone

It's no secret that the number one party killer is an uncomfortable atmosphere, so your top priority should be making sure guests feel wanted and welcome.  Don't be a martyr - allow others to help clear the table; great conversations have been known to take place in the kitchen. 

What Should I Bring?

On the receiving end of a dinner party invitation? Show up with a unique and thoughtful gift for your host(s).

Setting the Stage

We think a beautifully laid table sets the stage for all the rest. Get inspired with some of our favourite finds.


Placemats + Linen


Serving Pieces