The Bluffer’s Guide To Hosting A Dinner Party Now You’re In Your 20s

The situation is this: you’re a twenty-something adult professional with a Friday night free and a strong desire to cut loose in the most classy and contained way possible.

You invite all your friends round to your house for an evening of tipsy, uninhibited conversation supplemented by appetisers and charcuterie plates the likes of which would have the late Anthony Bourdain beaming in approval.

The only problem is, you’re barely six months removed from uni life and as such, have no idea how to cater an evening that doesn’t involve Mi Goreng or goon punch.

Let us walk you through it!

Think About The Seating Arrangements

First of all, make sure you have enough seating for all your guests; otherwise you might have to do a quick Kmart run. If it’s a summertime, outdoorsy kind of dinner party you can probably get away with just using lawn chairs, but if it’s an indoor affair, that kind of make-do isn’t going to cut it. Which also means no, you can’t use your gaming chair or La-Z-Boy in lieu of an actual seat at the dinner table.

Choosing The Soundtrack

A wise man once said, “music is food for the soul”, which is super appropriate here given that you may not know how to cook actual food yet. Take note of the fact that a banging playlist will hide the deficiencies of an overcooked, uninspiring meal

Plus, if the music is keenly aligned with your guest’s own tastes, it might inspire some dinner table discussion. Put some Drake or Kanye on and talk about the rappers’ latest respective beefs, or some Father John Misty if your guests are more of the hipster variety.

Candles, Candles, Candles

I learned a while ago, mostly through my girlfriend, that candles are the key to turning a bachelor pad share-house into a mature gentleman’s abode.

Candles say to your guests, “I am an individual of refined tastes who most certainly was not watching repeats of The Simpsons five minutes before your arrival”.

Candles are inexpensive, can be picked up from pretty much any kind of department store, and go a long way in creating the right atmosphere for an adult dinner party.

Consider Your Guests Dietary Restrictions

Look, I’m sure your eggplant pasta is amazing, no one is saying it isn’t, but this is 2018 and if you invite 10 people around for dinner at least 4 of them are going to be gluten-free. That’s not to say you should overwhelmingly cater to specific tastes or do a separate meal for each person, just provide a few different options.

Maybe you do a big salad in addition to a meat-based main, or fry up some veggie patties to help out your vegan friend. If you’re planning on using a recipe that contains nuts, send out a group text asking if anyone has allergies.

Remember that these people are your friends, and they’re not going to ask you to bend over backwards in order to accommodate them, just maybe give them a heads-up if you’re using cashew nuts so they don’t collapse at the table.

The Booze Supply

Bringing a bottle of wine to the dinner party you’re attending is a courtesy in the adult world, and some of your guests might bring a bottle to yours. You shouldn’t rely wholly on your guests to supply the alcohol though, so make sure you have a couple of bottles of red on hand (NOT goon, the whole point of a dinner party is that this isn’t amateur hour anymore).