# best dinner party tips # Daily Connoisseur

The Dinner Party | Elements of a Beautiful Gathering


The modern dinner party… a novelty. Like receiving a letter in the mail the old fashioned way. It’s rare, but when it occurs it’s so delightful. I’d like to bring the dinner party and in-home entertaining back. Because life is about connection and relationships and belonging… 

Welcome back to The Daily Connoisseur. We are throwing a dinner party tonight and in today’s video I’m sharing some of my tips and tricks with how I manage a dinner party during a busy season of life. Make sure you stay tuned until the end because I have some special guests to introduce you to. But first, let’s start off with the fun part… the flower arrangements. 

I usually find my flowers at Trader Joe’s because they are very affordable and have a good selection there. Since we are still in fall, I wanted to bring some creams and yellows into these bouquets before I begin moving into the deep reds of winter. I decided on a special mix of cream roses, white mums, St. John’s wort, and chrysanthemums. I’m making two versions of the same bouquet for the kitchen table, where the kids will eat, and the dining room table, where the adults will be. It takes me a few tries to get the stems the right length, but I am loving this combination. I take some of the leaves off the stems but not all. I find that if I change the water every day, I can get my bouquets to last more than a week this way. 

Time to set the table. There will be 8 adults and 11 kids at the party tonight. That’s a lot of people! Because I’m in a very busy season right now and feel a little stressed, I thought I’d make this dinner party as low stress as possible and will order the food in. There’s no shame in that game. People will often not entertain because they can’t do it a certain way… I say the most important thing about the gathering is that you, in fact, gather and connect. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t cooked a meal from scratch. People just like being invited over. Don’t worry about judgement. Sometimes I’m able to cook for everyone, but tonight, with 19 people being here… I outsourced the cooking. But we will get to that later. I’ve decided on Spode Blue Italian for tonight’s dinner as I have enough of that collection for the amount of guests I’m having. I have matched it with my fall plaid napkins and gold rings. We didn’t have enough chairs, so we brought two down from other rooms that are in a similar style. It may seem strange, but I get a definite thrill from setting the table. Why does this bring me so much joy? It’s the little things in life. It’s an artistic pastime for me. I love selecting the plates, napkins, tablecloth, flower arrangements and how they will all go together. Of course, candles are a must. I always think of Hyacinth Bucket and her candlelight suppers! Ha! 

I finally purchased some elegant chafing dishes. I’ve wanted these for a while. It’s much more convenient to keep the food warm this way, rather than in the oven.  On the menu tonight is Mediterranean food… one of my favorites. We are having chicken and vegetable kabobs with basmati rice and a Mediterranean salad. Appetizers are falafel, hummus, pita bread, and tzatziki. And, the pièce de résistance is cheesecake with raspberries for dessert.  

The dinner party was a success. It was so fun to get together and laugh! Now, I didn’t want to be one of those annoying dinner party hosts who puts a camera in everyone’s face and I want to be conscious about everyone’s privacy, but there are two people I think you should meet! The first one is our friend, Cameron, who has a channel called, The Busy Gardener. The second one is my video editor, Evan…  I thought you’d get a kick out of meeting those two since they are a part of the YouTube world. The dinner went until late, and I didn’t get to bed until midnight. It was so fun. I hope this video inspires you to entertain this season. Thank you for watching. See you next time! Love, Jennifer


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Mystery Reader said...

The dinner party was lovely. Thank you for sharing the menu. I’m keeping it in my mind for future parties. I have many friends and family with dietary restrictions and I think your menu would meet everyone’s needs with a few minor tweaks or additions. I always struggle with this at holidays and gatherings. Thank you again for another great video!

Unknown said...

I loved your video on entertaining. My parents entertained and my mama was always
hosting baby showers, wedding showers, teas, etc. We have continued that tradition.
It is so much easier now when you can have the food catered but I still set a beautiful
table. I have been in the habit of using place cards. I do this because a few days before
the dinner party I will start praying over each guest's seat. So far, it's been 37 years
since I've been hosting dinner parties for family and friends and even strangers no one
has ever balked. Blessings on you and your family....Stacie

Lynn from SoCal said...

Hi Jennifer,

I asked a question on the wrong article!

I wanted to know what you do when a guest does something that particularly irks you...the original question and all of the details are on the 4 Fall Dinner Ideas article. Sorry about that.

Long story short: I have a friend who doesn't respect my belongings and when I ask her to she responds like I'm acting above my station and makes me feel worse.

I'm not sure if I am a doormat for continuing to invite her over or an uppity jerk....