10 dinner party themes
Image courtesy of Indigo.
Theme: The gilded age
Thanks to the popularity of television shows like Downton Abbey and the release of Baz Luhrmann’s high-def, lavish version of The Great Gatsby, the 1920s have lent their sumptuous aesthetic to everything from plates to pillows. Gather opulent props for the table—gilded plates, a few peacock feathers—so you and your friends can feign upper-class ennui for an evening.
Image courtesy of Zan Passante.
Theme: Celebrate the harvest
Yes, this is generally what Thanksgiving is all about, but a harvest-themed get-together can feature seasonal vegetables as the centrepiece of the meal, rather than the turkey. Think roasted vegetables, root vegetable soups, a variety of sweet and savoury pickles and preserves, and fruit-filled desserts. Fill vases with fabulous fall flowers and come up with a creative way to use perhaps a gourd or an apple as a place card holder.
Image courtesy of HomeSense.
Theme: An evening in Morocco
Dig your tajine out from the back of the cupboard, find a few Moroccan recipes and host an evening of exotic food and culture. Hang a few coloured glass lanterns and lay out your most colourful, patterned tablecloths, napkins and plates. If you can, borrow a low table and surround it with plush cushions for a more authentic spread.
Image courtesy of Zara Home.
Dinner party theme: A tea party soiree
Tea sandwiches and scones for dinner? Why not? This idea may be better suited to a group of girlfriends than a couples’ night. Incorporate a full tea service of sweet and savouries when it’s your turn to host your book club, or just invite a few gals over for a good old gab fest. With tea, of course. Image courtesy of Pottery Barn.
Theme: A dining room craft beer tasting
Instead of heading to a microbrewery, bring the idea of a tasting experience into your dining room. Brew your own ales or choose a local brewer who makes unique, small-batch craft beers. Serve fun, pub-like favourites, such as cheesy nachos and mini sliders.
Image courtesy of West Elm.
Theme: Rustic ambience
Plan a banquet inspired by the medieval stylings of Game of Thrones (the non gory bits, of course) or Lord of the Rings. You don’t need to ask your guests to dress up like Sean Parker did for his recent wedding, but go au naturel for the party decor – think pine cones and birch twigs, serve your fare in rustic dinnerware on wooden serving trays, and eat under the flickering glow of beeswax-generated candlelight. Image courtesy of Pottery Barn.
Theme: Mad Men
There’s only one more season left of Mad Men, so that means one more year where you can pull out your grandmother’s Jello molds or chips and dip dishes, while decanters of hard liquor magically appear from behind wall unit doors. Grab a vintage cookbook or two for recipe inspiration and dust off your record player to listen to ‘60s tunes.
Image courtesy of Pier1.
Theme: Salsa bar
We don’t mean the dance, though you can pull that out, too, but this has been the year where soft tacos, from fish to pulled pork, have been featured on many a menu. Rather than make the taco the star of the show, put together a salsa bar – tomato, mango, tomatillo, you name it! Then serve your favourite slushy drinks with little umbrellas. Olé!
Image courtesy of West Elm.
Theme: The dessert party
Forget the meal, schedule your party a little later, tell your guests to keep it light at dinner and arrange your shindig around dessert. This is also a great idea if you’re planning an open house or a shower.
Image courtesy of Crate & Barrel
Theme: Charcuterie chic
Gather a variety of fancy meats and cheeses, dried fruit and nuts, pickles and preserves, fresh bread and crackers. Artfully arrange them on wooden boards with little ID signs, pair them with local wines and you have yourself a charcuterie party.