Dinner party planning: five clever tips from a professional

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on RachelKhoo.com and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

You’ve sent out your e-invitations and your guests have confirmed they’ll be there with bells on. So, now what? Depending on your approach, dinner party planning can be an opportunity to get creative and have fun — or, it can be an evening filled with unnecessary stress. A professional in the party-throwing game, KinoVino supper club founder Alissa Timoshkina shares her tips for making your dinner party one to remember (for all the right reasons).

Here’s what Alissa recommends:

  1. Research
    Research is essential, in my view, when planning a dinner party. Instagram and Pinterest are an amazing resource, so I always search certain tags, depending on the theme of the night and the style of the cuisine, and create a mood board before planning each event.
  2. Keep decor minimal
    When designing a tablescape, I try to select one or two key elements and let them be the stars of the show, with everything else being there in the background to accentuate those elements. For example, for my Greek-themed event I chose olive branches and bread as the two key elements. Both were displayed on the tables against the rustic beige of the linen napkins and tablecloths.
  3. Think beyond the food
    Try to envisage the meal as a journey for your guests. Where do you want to take them with it? And, where do you want them to arrive at the end of the meal? It’s not just about how they feel while they are eating, but also what kinds of memories linger after the event.
  4. Consider the whole
    Create a dialogue between the meal and the table-setting. Use some of the edible elements as part of the table decor but also think of the colour scheme of the food and how it will work with the colour of the tablecloth, the flowers, the plates or other decor elements in the room.
  5. Make your own menu
    Create individual menus for each guest that enhances their aesthetic appreciation of the table. It’s a really fun crafty moment of designing the layout and choosing the right font, shape and size. Also, menus are useful elements to guide the guests through the meal and make a lovely keepsake.

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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We’ve put together a Khoollect dinner party menu, filled with delicious suggestions for your guests to feast from.