Fall is our favourite time of the year to entertain – the kids are back at school, normalcy is returning to the home, and the crisp weather outside makes the indoors much more inviting. It’s the perfect time of year to invite a small group of friends over for a cozy fall dinner gathering.
We sat down with our home design partner Jamie Banfield to talk about his 4 favourite tips to mastering the casual fall dinner party.
Keep it Simple and Local
Food always comes first in the planning process. In this case, Jamie recommends keeping it simple and local. Think party platters, charcuterie plates, and grazing boards with all your favourite meats, veggies, and quick bites (a perfect example is pairing sliced roasted chicken with cold sides). Consider pre-assembled platters as well if you’re strapped for time. You might also consider the many online grocery options that can replace long trips to the supermarket, and even deliver fresh meats and produce to your door.
Dress the Table Like a Pro
To set the table for a successful dinner party, start with the tableware. Jamie recommends using bowls and plates that are white, so that you can mix and match between casual and formal, and between seasons. For décor, add seasonal textures and colours to the table. Vintage silver platters and seasonal fruit can make the perfect centrepiece; candles, lanterns from the deck, glass containers, mason jars, and fresh-cut flowers from the backyard add fall character to the dining or living room.
Drop the Cocktail List
Much like the first step, keep your drink options simple. Instead of stocking the bar with too many varieties of wine, choose a red and white selection that pairs well with the food. A little knowledge goes a long way; if you’re not sure what works well, check online or with the liquor store staff to find the right pairing. After all, there’s a difference between finding and describing to your guests a white wine, and a buttery chardonnay that lights up the palate in harmony.
Need music that’s cozy to match the intimate dining room setting, or something upbeat to complement the lively conversations? Use an online music streaming provider. There are lots of premade playlists to choose from, or you can even customize your own list to play your dinner party favourites. Set the right mood for your dinner party with the right playlist.
We hope these tips inspire you to get started on planning your own casual fall dinner party. Send out your invites, round up a few friends, and don’t forget to light up your fireplace and start setting up the decorations! In the meantime, follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date.