Entertaining for every stage of life

Family dinner party

Tips for hosting the perfect dinner party

Thanks to shows like MKR and MasterChef as well as social media sites like Pinterest, our interest in food and our appreciation of fine dining is expanding rapidly. Whether it is a cocktail party, family potluck, Sunday brunch or something formal, your opportunity to entertain and host a dinner party has arrived.


Coordinating around sleeps, temper tantrums, fussy eaters etc can make entertaining difficult for young families but don’t stick your head in the sand. Keep your dinner party in line with this season of life by hosting a potluck dinner.


This is a great opportunity to get to know the parents of some of your kids’ friends so invite families from school, your mothers group or people you know from swimming lessons.


By going potluck style you take the pressure off yourself and ensure that there is food to suit all of your guests. You could leave it up to chance or you could instruct families in their invitation to bring a starter, side, main or dessert.

Intrigued? Read more about planning a potluck dinner >>


Hints/tips: In the invite, get the kids to bring a sleeping bag so they can all retreat to the lounge room to watch a movie later in the evening.

Keep it casual, colourful and fun. This relaxed party takes the focus out of the kitchen so you have time and effort to put into preparing the atmosphere. According to popular family blog, Simple Mom, if you think about the kids in advance and look after them, it will enable the adults to enjoy themselves as well. Things like a separate table for eating, organised activities and kid-friendly food will ensure that parents are able to relax and enjoy some adult conversation.


You no longer have to worry about driving the kids to activities or spending all weekend on the sidelines of a soccer field so put that time to good use and host a leisurely brunch.


Here is a great opportunity to invite the kids back home for a meal or enjoy your other empty nester friends, it doesn’t have to be a formal invite, it could even be a “do-drop-in”.


Brunch is very open to interpretation when it comes to deciding what to serve. You don’t have to do the barbecue egg, bacon and sausage brekkie. Try toasted croissants, a breakfast casserole, fresh fruit with yoghurt and muesli and make it buffet style.


Hints/tips: Unless you plan on waking up at the crack of dawn, do as much as possible the day before, including setting the table.

Think relaxing music, sitting on the balcony, seasonal produce and natural decorations. Use conversation starters to keep the conversation interesting.

More party hosting ideas

How to be the hostess with the mostess
Best food and wine pairings
Easy appetisers for entertaining


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