Turn Your Next Dinner Party Into a Restaurant Experience

Looking to throw a dinner party with a difference? Why not turn your dining room into a restaurant? If you are looking for a cool way to impress dinner party guests, a restaurant theme is a great option, and one that can help you get organised early in terms of what you plan to serve. The menu doesn't need to be fancy. In fact, the simpler the offerings, the more fun the invitation (and subsequent party) will be. Follow these simple steps to create a restaurant-themed dinner party:

Start by determining the number of guests. As with any dinner party, you need to consider how much space you have in your dining room or alfresco area. You will also need to consider how much time you have to invest in dinner party food preparation. If you are limited on space and time, you will need to invite only a small number of guests (say a maximum of six) and plan simple, easy-to-prepare dishes. Think one-pot wonders such as a curry, or even a pasta dish for the main course.

Next is the fun part. Design an invitation that reads like a restaurant menu. Start with including the attendance details (date, time and address) under a heading such as "Experience a one-night only event at (insert your name) restaurant". After that, use the heading "Menu" and list the dishes you plan to serve, including any drinks and snacks on arrival, even if it's just dips and chips. Use the word "complimentary" throughout the design. List the wines and other drinks you plan to serve, with a heading such as "The wine selection, as chosen by our in-house sommelier". Include a dress code, or something along the lines of "no shoes, no shirt, no service". 

Once you've got the invitations out (electronic is fine), start planning the way you want to set up your restaurant "dining room". If you've got a large enough number of guests, consider setting up a few tables instead of just one. Recruit any teenagers you know to serve the food and drinks (you may or may not have to pay them) and make a sign (to the best of your creative ability) to hang on the front door on the night of the dinner party. You'll be all set for a great night — just be sure not to hand your guests a bill at the end of the meal!