The Perfect Dinner Party

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A dinner party is a party, generally held in the host's home where they prepare and serve their culinary masterpieces. Guests are required to bring a bottle of wine or gift, and very often the starter or pudding (although guests bringing food is more classed as an 'American Supper', after the first Pilgrim's and Indians sharing food in North America).

Historically feasts at home have always been a way of life in the UK, from Kings holding banquets through history, to 1920's aristocrats, known to show off to their dinner guests. But until the 1970's the dinner party had been the promise of the rich and famous. In 1977 Mike Leigh directed a film called 'Abigail's Party' depicting the dinner party of a regular suburban couple, serving the food of the era (including olives – a new entry to the British palate and not relished). The dinner party was born.

With the popularity of TV show 'Come Dine with Me' dinner parties are becoming more and more popular. Often a group of friends will each week or month, play host, and score each other on overall dinner party from food to atmosphere and entertainment.

If you are looking to hold a dinner party, the essentials you must consider are as follows:

• If you are the host it is your absolute responsibility to ensure that each guest is treated wonderfully. Greet them at the door ensure they are given a drink of their choice immediately and that their glass is topped accordingly through the evening.

• Ensure there is sufficient food and drink to go around your guests. No one should leave a dinner party hungry. Even if you are drinking wine, water must always be available on the table. Check with guests before as to whether there are any allergies or dislikes, or dietary requirements such as vegetarian to cater for. Ensure that you organize a menu as closely to what everyone likes as possible. No need worry if you can not achieve this completely, just try to cater as close as possible to your guest's palates.

• Ensure entertainment is suitable for your guests. Do not provide 'Butler's in the Buff' serving drinks for middle aged couples, or a Tony Christie impersonator to 20 something females. The same as you should provide suitable music for your guests.

• The table should be laid with adequate napkins, cutlery and glassware. Ensure the house and particularly the bathroom is clean and well-equipped with towels and toilet paper.

• When it is time for your guests to leave provide taxi numbers and bid them a warm and safe farewell.

• Then hope that they award you 10 out of 10.

The most important thing is to ensure that you and your guests have a good time, and that your hospitality is renamed for all.