Food & Drink
Five Tips to Host a Dinner Party from Fran Berger

Five Tips to Host a Dinner Party from Fran Berger

“Even with all the chaos, I think we can all agree that inviting a few friends to our home and sharing some food is exactly what we need,” said Fran Berger, Beverly Hills home entertaining guru.

“Breeding with people who are important to us creates an intimacy and fills our spirits with joy that comes only when we are connected with others we care about,” she said.

Berger’s 20-plus years of experience in owning restaurants and 40 years hosting parties at home have taught her a lot. Her beautiful book The Catalogue is her latest creation. It shows how to make gatherings that create memories and how to have homes that make you and your guests smile.

Berger shares 5 tips for hosting a dinner party with the same spirit. You may want to organize a dinner party that makes an impact and honors your loved ones. Have a look at these photos:

Fran Berger, Home Entertainment Guru: 5 Tips to Host a Dinner Party

Avoid scented candles

Scent candles are a favorite gift. However, they should be avoided when guests come for food or drinks. Even if you have a signature smell you love, you’ve spent a lot of time and effort creating the food you will serve. Your guests should enjoy the wonderful aromas coming from your kitchen.

It would help if you did not try to fight with lit scented candles. You can have one lit if you need it.

It’s easy to raise the bar.

You can create a signature drink you can make in batches. You can make a base drink and add alcohol to it. Or, you could batch the entire cocktail. This will eliminate anyone having to sit at the bar all night mixing drinks.

When making a batch of cocktails, account for ice melt. This water will melt when the drink has been shaken or stirred with the ice.

Use glass charms

Drinks are important. Whether your guests drink water only or ask for a glass of wine, everyone wants to know which glass they have. A selection of glass charms can be clipped to the glass’ edge to ensure that they don’t mix up glasses (and then you may need to make another drink in a different glass, increasing the likelihood of glasses getting dirty).

There are many options available – some that fit around stemmed glasses, others that can clip to the rim. Some come in fruit shapes and others in geometric shapes. Others look like people, while some look like animals. Enjoy them, and don’t ever mix up any glasses!

Serve Hors d’Oeuvres

Ensure your guests have something to snack on while enjoying their welcome drink. Make a cheeseboard with crackers. You can add dried fruits, salamis, prosciutto, and bresaola to the crackers, or grainy mustard, cornichon, and nuts.

If you feel creative, bake brie in puff pastry or grill asparagus tips rolled in prosciutto. You can offer as little as chips or nuts. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Make sure the food you serve is delicious at room temperature. It doesn’t have to be a major deal. The goal is for guests to still be hungry at the end of the meal.

You can use thoughtful place cards.

Lastly, place cards are important if there are more than six people at your table. People are often unsure where to sit when there are more than six. Place cards can help with this last-minute confusion.

Sit talkative friends next to more quiet ones. Think about who has the most to tell and who might need help. You will create an evening everyone will enjoy!

Berger adds, “Having said all this,” “I could continue to go on for four or five more.” Keep flowers/decor low; place a glass of bubbles on the table, and music low and simple. There are so many things to enjoy!

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