8 Simple Things Every Admirable Host Does for a Dinner Party

8 Simple Things Every Admirable Host Does for a Dinner Party

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Ariel Knutson
May 1, 2015
(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

This week we're sharing a dinner party that was inspired by The Kitchn Cookbook. So far we've shared how the whole party went down, including some of the delicious recipes. But our cookbook isn't just about recipes – in the back there's a whole guide on how to host a good gathering.

The cookbook offers tips for small but essential elements that make any dinner party feel special. A simple supper can feel relaxed and inviting with the help of these eight things you can do as a host.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

An admirable host always ...

1. Shares a clean home with dinner guests.

This one might be a little obvious, but it must be stated: If you're hosting people at your house for dinner, you should probably clean up a little. But please, you don't need to get crazy – you can keep it simple and "look" clean if you're in a rush or would rather just not.

2. Sets the table in advance.

Unless you live in a super dusty home or are doing something more impromptu, the best thing you can do for yourself and your guests is set the table the day before. That way, you can focus on the food and drink situation and make sure your guests are happy.

3. Makes a designated place for coats and bags.

Having a simple place for your guests to put their coats or belongings is essential. It can be anywhere, really – a few extra hangers in your front closet or on your bed.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)
(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

4. Puts flowers on the table and in the bathroom.

Adding flowers to your table and bathroom add a little life to your home. They don't need to be fancy, but having a little color is always nice.

5. Lights candles on the table.

Candles instantly make everything feel cozy. It wasn't dark when we had our simple supper, but lighting a couple candles still brought the table together.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

6. Chooses some good tunes.

There's no such thing as an awkward silence when there's music playing.

7. Places water on the table in a pretty pitcher.

Having water on the table before guests sit down is a thoughtful thing to do. Being thirsty is the worst. Double bonus points if you put water in pretty pitchers to make your dinner table look extra special.

8. A good host is always calm and happy.

Above all else, a good host should always be relaxed and happy. Nobody is going to enjoy their plate of lasagna if the host is running around frantically because the kitchen is piled up with dishes or there's no wine in the house. Relax, things happen; enjoy good food and good company.

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