Winter is the perfect time to bring friends and family together for a cosy gathering. Hosting a dinner party can be a daunting task, but we have some great tips to help you out!
Mise en place a French culinary phrase which means "everything in its place" and it is really 50 percent of the work. More planning means less last-minute stress later!
A shared menu is a great way to get everyone involved. It is also cost-effective and generally less work plating up. Think something with some spices or little heat to beat the winter chill. Asian cuisine definitely fits this very well.
For an Asian theme, think nice warming curries which pair well with either rice or bread. A crunchy salad with hot, sweet and sour notes such as green papaya salad will be a very nice accompaniment. And don’t forget soup, which is always a winter favourite. We definitely recommend pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) for something little different and absolutely rewarding. Our best ever beef pho is a little time consuming, but most of the cooking can be done before hand. Else, the chicken pho is really and can be done in one day.
And of course, desserts! It can be as simple as apple crumble, scented with warming cinnamon. Winter is also the citrus season; so don’t forget the classic such as Rice Kitchen’s orange syrup cake.
To assist you in menu planning, shopping and most of the preparation, Rice Kitchen has put together a fabulous Feast Box called Hearty and Warm. Featured in the feast are a lovely chicken curry, a refreshing beef larb, crunchy fish cakes and spicy edamame. You will receive all the ingredients, plus step-step cooking instruction. The Feast Box will feed a party of 6, but there are Tasting Boxes on offer for a party of 4.
Setting up the mood
Make sure your home is warm when guests arrive. Light some candles, especially those scented with spice notes such as cinnamon or clove. If you have time and are up for it, make some mulled wine (or the non-alcoholic version). It will make your home smell wonderful and it is such a great winter beverage.
For flower decoration, stick to a muted tone of green, silver and a touch of colours such as yellow. These winter colours compliment the vibrant colours of the food served.
Dinnerware is also important. Grey or dark coloured plates and bowls paired with golden rose cutlery are the look of the season. They are also timeless pieces that can be used again and again. We absolutely adore the NOMAD collection from Salt and Pepper, which we chose for our launch event!
Our tips are featured on MyDeal: How To Host A Garden Party This Winter