“Eating is so intimate…When you invite someone to sit at your table and you want to cook for them, you’re inviting a person into your life.” - Maya Angelou
So, as we mentioned, conversation and connections are what really matter, and ultimately we encourage not getting too stressed over the set-up, however, we do have some tips on hand to help you on your way. We love considering what it means to be a host and a guest at the same time, a good guest makes for a good host and vice versa.
Remember a dinner party doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune, loose days to cooking or buying a whole new set of crockery to dress the table.
Hosting at home: Ambiance is your best friend when hosting from home, tea lights, votive candles or shifting lamps into your dining space can make a huge difference at little to no cost. Though we said don’t sweat the details, there are a few key things to consider. The top tier checklist is seating – do you have enough chairs, if not could you ask a neighbour?
In a similar vein cutlery and plates, it’s easy to forget this until setting the table but save yourself the last-minute panic. Remember not everything has to be uniform, keep your eye out when second-hand shopping for unique pieces of tableware if hosting is your thing, they can be a great conversation starter. Also, where possible, outsource, outsource, outsource – if cooking isn’t your favourite, or you're short on time, picking up some premade bits is always helpful, dessert can be very time-consuming so check out your local bakery.
Host in a private dining room: Granted, hosting in a private dining room might seem a bit intense, but it's well worth considering. The intimacy of a room for just you and your guests makes for a deeply memorable experience.
Whether you are hosting to deepen your connections with your A-team or celebrating a special occasion, the hustle and bustle of a dining room are sometimes best swapped out for your own space. The benefits largely lie in the fact that you don’t have to do anything save spending time with your invitees. But where to go? Well, check out our favourite private dining rooms in London.
Host at a restaurant: Heading to a restaurant is also a great option. We have some favourite spots in mind. Firstly, for a predominantly veggie cohort, Rasa in Stoke Newington is a great choice.
A cult favourite amongst east London foodies, this Indian restaurant is well deserving of its acclaim. The ionic all-pink interiors make for a memorable experience and incredible food also comes at a super affordable price. Location wise it’s surrounded by amazing natural wine bars like Newington Green rising star Cadet - ideal if the conversation continues post-dinner.
An old faithful is Brasserie Zedel, the set menus keep things low-key, yet as a venue, the space is anything but. Plus it's an ideal choice for larger bookings. Opt for restaurants if you'd rather focus on hosting, or are meeting a group for the first time.