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Top Tips For Throwing The Best Dinner Party In London – Fine Dining At Home

Thinking about hosting a dinner party for family or friends in London? Will you be pulling out all the stops for the ultimate experience in fine dining at home? Whether you’re a seasoned dinner party host or it’s you first go, there are some handy tips to keep in mind when planning your gathering.

The following post provides useful guidance on the things you need to take care of if you want to throw a memorable dinner party in London or further afield.

1. Prep, Prep & Prep Some More

If you’re the private chef for the evening, have everything ready before your guests arrive. That way, you can spend as much time as possible at the table with your guests and not be stressed in the kitchen the whole night. Good prep will also allow you to keep the kitchen neat, tidy, and organised, ensuring you have everything ready to go so when it comes to plating up.

2. Set The Table

Set your table the morning of your party (or even the night before). This gets one big task out of the way meaning there’s one less thing to stress about in the lead up to your guests’ arrival. Depending on the number of courses you plan to serve, remember to have fresh sets of cutlery for everyone — especially when switching from savoury to sweet courses.

Don’t forget about the glassware if you’re planning to have a champagne reception as part of the fine dining at home. Make sure you polish your flutes and set them up on a table next to your iced champagne bucket. Does your menu require a switch from red to white wine? Have the correct wine glasses polished and ready to go as well if so. What’s more, remember to add water glasses and a jug of iced water to make your life easier.

To ensure nothing gets overlooked, here’s a quick checklist for your table setting:

  • Tablecloth
  • Napkins
  • Table mats & coasters
  • Cutlery (several sets per person)
  • Glassware – water glasses, wine glasses & Champagne flutes
  • Centrepieces – flowers, candles etc.
  • Printed menus

3. The Menu

As the personal chef for the night, it’s your responsibility to check for any special dietary requirements such as gluten free, vegan, and dairy free with your guests. This will give you plenty of time to organise a different menu and prevent any awkward moments at the dinner table. 

Once you know what you’re working with in terms of dietary requirements, decide how many courses you’re going to serve. Three courses consisting of a starter, main course, and dessert is the standard choice. Generally private chefs will go with a vegetarian or fish starter followed by a meat main course, and then dessert but it should always come down to you and your guests’ preferences. 

Great British Chefs is a great place to find excellent dinner party recipes if you’re not sure where to start.

4. Take Your Time, But Not Too Long

Many a dinner party guest work up an appetite throughout the day in preparation for the eagerly anticipated culinary experience. As such, it’s great to have dinner ready at a reasonable pre-agreed time. Additionally, give yourself enough time to ensure everything is right and plated with a great presentation — people really do eat with their eyes first. 

Follow our ‘Prep, Prep & Prep Some More’ advice and this shouldn’t be an issue.

5. Pre-Heat & Pre-Chill

Unless you’re having hot wine in the middle of winter, nobody likes drinks anywhere near room temperature. Be sure to chill all the wine, beers & soft drinks well in advance. If you forget this step, putting your beverage in the freezer for 30 minutes is always a life saver.

When it comes to food, have the oven preheated and ready to go. Professional private chefs plan ahead to avoid putting food into a cold oven — you should too. If you have multiple ovens, you can set one that you’re not using to around 40 degrees Celsius and use it as a plate warmer for your hot dishes.

6. Tea & Coffee

Most guests will end their meal with tea and coffee. Depending on the size of your dinner party it may be worth having your tea pot and a cafetiere prepared before the meal. It’ll make it easier to serve your tea and coffee at the end as nice final touch for the fine dining experience at home. We highly recommend Balance Coffee for a special end to the evening!

Fine Dining At Home: The Wrap Up

There you have it! Some great tips for throwing the ultimate dinner party in London. If you’d prefer to leave all the hassle to professionals, private chef hire in London is an excellent choice.

Zest X LDN is here to ensure that your dinner party is one to remember. Simply choose one of our available menus or let us create a bespoke menu for you. We’ll arrive at your house or venue at least 2 hours beforehand with everything prepped and ready to go. 

And there’s more! In addition to our top-tier private chefs, we’ll bring waiting staff and all the tableware including plates, glassware, and cutlery. We’ll also set the table and clean up at the end of the night to ensure you fully enjoy your evening with your guest.

Book your dinner party with Zest X LDN then sit back, relax, and enjoy fine dining at home with Michelin standard food and service. 

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Suchema Oyetey
Suchema Oyetey
Great service and I need to get the recipe for the pork they made because it was absolutely delicious.
Rebecca O
Rebecca O
These guys catered for a friend's 40th and they were incredible! They brought everything, cooked everything, served everything and even loaded the dishwasher at the end! The food was so delicious - my favourite was probably the different ways they did pork - pork belly and pulled pork - melt in the mouth tender. Usually I hate pulled pork but the chefs version was so succulent I had to go back for seconds. Would definitely recommend them. Such a friendly, professional and hospitable nature and I really, really appreciated the leftovers that I had for the next two days! I also need to give a nod to the white chocolate and matcha cheesecake. Creamy deliciousness. Definitely check them out for all your tasty needs.
Kate Sellars
Kate Sellars
Wow wow wow! We booked the team to celebrate my Husband’s 30th Birthday and I am so glad we did. Rather than a weekend trip to London we wanted to do something a little different and Simon certainly delivered. The food was sensational, we did the British Summer 3 courses. There was a perfect amount of time between courses and the set up appeared seamless. We had Jakob serving the dishes and sharing his cocktail secrets and Alex was very efficient in keeping the kitchen spotless, it was like they were never there. Highly recommend for any occasion!
Samantha Neblett
Samantha Neblett
Edward and his colleague came to cook for my friends and I as part of my 40th birthday celebrations. Edward agreed a bespoke menu with me in advance that had me salivating and the reality did not disappoint. Every single dish was delicious and loved by all guests including fussy children! The only complaint was that their tummies couldn't eat more than 2 plates each even though they wanted to! Everything was tidied up and washed up afterwards, with every detail thought of to make it a fuss free and wonderful experience for all. THANK YOU!
Claire Sackett
Claire Sackett
Just the most amazing dinner you could wish for. Highly recommended!
Jackie Becker
Jackie Becker
From initial email enquiry to the very end of our party Edward and his team were a delight to deal with. They were consummate professionals. The BBQ was delicious, the drinks never stopped flowing, everything was superb. They made our party a day to remember and took all the stress out of hosting. I would wholeheartedly recommend Zest and I'm looking forward to having another occasion to employ their services. Thank you.
Sonia Seyfollahi
Sonia Seyfollahi
I want to show my immense gratitude to Edward and Jacob for making my 50 th so memorable! I feel very lucky to have the chance to taste such delicious dishes prepared in a very professional way by such an expert chef! Thanks a million ! Combination of Edward and Jacob was just magic ! Made us all feel like we were in a Michelin star restaurant at home ! How amazing . My friends are great cooks & fussy and Edward managed to impress all ! Enthusiasm filled my kitchen as fabulous food was served very professionally , all my friend want him now ! I feel I need to keep Edward a secret ! Thank you thank you 🙏🏻
chiryne martens
chiryne martens
I had a birthday and a Christmas dinner organised by the team. Both times were really wonderful moments, everything tasted amazing and looked great. Thank you for making our dinners lasting memories!
Lynda Vail
Lynda Vail
I used this company for my 60th birthday and they were amazing. They gave great variety of menu choices including vegan options, they turned up on time, the food and services was great and they cleaned up afterwards so you would never have known they had been there. They were very professional and friendly throughout the evening without being intrusive on our evening. My whole family really enjoyed the experience. I would recommend Edward and the rest of his staff to anyone wanting a very special evening at home. I hope to use them again sometime in the future. They are a bit expensive but for a special occasion it is worth paying for.
Martin Quille
Martin Quille
Edward and his team catered for our daughter’s 21st Birthday where they did a fantastic barbecue, food was delicious and the staff absolutely amazing 10 out of 10 👏👏

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