Stage a dinner party to impress

So you want to wow your friends with impeccable hosting skills? Make it an evening they’ll remember?

You’re in luck – we can help. Being in the hospitality industry, the team behind Q restaurant housed within the luxury hotel in Cornwall, The Old Quay House, know a thing or two about how to deliver excellent service. Alex our restaurant manager knows it’s the small details that count. He suggests starting with background music – the unofficial rule books say you should be able to hear it in the distance without it being obtrusive – did you know that? If the thought of compiling a whole new playlist for just one evening has you hot under the collar (and let’s face it, flicking through albums and songs to make a playlist could take a whole evening!) then you might take comfort in The Old Quay House Playlist. Try it for some inspiration and let us know what you think.

Other helpful tips:

Dressing the table
Flowers are useful for adding colour to a table but be careful, you can overdo it.  Your vase saved for ‘best’ may seem like a great idea for a centrepiece but if it’s blocking people’s view then opt for something more subtle instead – try a tea light holder. We use these in the restaurant as it adds light and helps to set the mood without taking up too much space.

Sticking to time guidelines will help to ensure your dinner party runs smoothly. Chances are your guests will have saved themselves for your food so try serving canapés when your guests first arrive to surpass any angry hunger pangs. When the starters have been devoured, don’t keep your guests waiting any longer than 15 minutes before serving their mains.  Remember, preparation is key – our chefs are methodical creatures and timing is everything. If you’re not a natural timekeeper, try writing a schedule.

Wall Art

Pairing wine with food
The first port of call when matching wine with food is to think carefully about what you’re cooking, and that goes well beyond the main ingredient. Be mindful of the sauce – generally a light and creamy sauce will need a white wine, and a rich sauce a red. You don’t want to overpower the food either, opt for a wine that compliments instead of drowns. This part of hosting is often overlooked because a host doesn’t have time or knowledge but you’ll be amazed at the difference the right wine can make to a dish.

If this all sounds like too much trouble for one evening and you’d rather have the cooking (and washing up!) done for you, why not ship the children off to their grandparents and escape for a romantic weekend in our Cornwall hotel instead? To talk estuary views, deluxe rooms and roll top baths, phone us on 01726 833302.