10 Do-Ahead Dinner Party Tips

You’ve met that graceful host who makes entertaining look easy. The table is beautifully set. Candles are lit. Good smells are wafting out of the kitchen. The guests are chatting and nibbling on appetizers. And the host is relaxed and smiling. How does she – or he – do it?

Well, here’s a little secret. You can throw a dinner party and not be completely exhausted and stressed out by the time your first guest arrives. And it starts with doing a handful of things in advance.

Follow these do-ahead dinner party tips. And enjoy being a host!

  1. Create a game plan for both the week and the day of the party. Put all your to-dos down on paper. Plan a menu with dishes that can be prepared over the course several days.
    Timing: 1 week ahead
  2. Shop for pantry ingredients.
    Timing: 1 week ahead
  3. Get out the tablecloths and silverware, and set the table. Arrange fresh flowers, so that can be in full bloom come party time.
    Timing: 3 days ahead
  4. Prep as many ingredients as possible, and store them in plastic bags in the fridge.
    Timing: 2 days ahead
  5. Bake your desserts.
    Timing: 2 days ahead
  6. Uncork, taste and chill wines. Set up a cocktail / refreshment bar.
    Timing: 1 day ahead
  7. Put out platters and serving dishes, jotting down what foods go where.
    Timing: 1 day ahead
  8. Shop for fresh ingredients.
    Timing: 1 day ahead
  9. Fill coffee maker with ground coffee and water, so it’s all set to brew at dessert time.
    Timing: Hours ahead
  10. Run and then empty the dishwasher, so it’s ready for post-party cleanup.
    Timing: Hours ahead

Whether you’re planning a dinner party or filing your taxes, it pays to have options. Say hello to H&R Block.

If you have questions about tax filing, H&R Block can help. No matter the tax situation, we have the expertise to assist you, and we give you the flexibility to file your taxes your way – online, in an office or at home. Also, with H&R Block you get your maximum refund, guaranteed.

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