So you want to host a dinner party?

Because of the way our disgusting society works, we’re encouraged to socialise, and connect with other people. As a result, we’re sometimes expected to invite these people into our houses, and cook for them. They are then obligated to return the gesture, and so this cycle goes on and on and on and on.

In an ideal world, we’d all be laying on the sofa in our pants with a Dominos. But this utopia is perpetually interrupted by the whims and demands of our friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST

Don’t be a bellend. Fair Trade chilli infused sun dried tomatoes with a confit of duck jus on a bed of walnut foam and watercress coulis, will only serve to alienate you from the group.

Your food will taste better if your guests believe it tastes better. Claim that your ingredients are organic, or from a farm – or some little shop you came across whilst on holiday in Portugal. Remember, at a dinner party – nothing you say needs to be true.

Try not to let your natural desire to be congratulated usurp your common decency – fries served in a tiny shopping trolley, gravy served in a jug that looks like a watering can – these are not okay.

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I cannot cook, therefore I will not

If you can’t cook, buy a ready meal. Ready meals have a bad reputation, but so has your mum. You could even get a really nice takeaway from a really nice restaurant. Remember – you’re an adult, and you can do whatever you like.

A Tapas buffet is a good alternative to cooking. Serrano Ham, Manchego, bread, olive oil. Tesco value ham, vegetable oil, and sliced white bread will not garner the same approval from your greedy and ungrateful guests.

It would be nice if we lived in a world where people could admit that sometimes, they’d rather eat mini Birds Eye Potato Waffles and sausages on sticks, than olives and hummus. But we don’t.  You don’t want to end up looking silly.

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The Setting

Mint and basil plants will give the illusion that not only do you regularly use fresh herbs, but also that you are capable of sustaining life. Flowers smell nice, and will help you look popular. Think of a back story of how you acquired them.

If people visit your bathroom and see an unsightly stain, they’ll picture your face next to what they’ve seen, and this image will haunt them. Often though, all it takes is for the toilet water to be blue or green, and that’s enough to convince guests that you’re hygienic.

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When people arrive

Guests should feel at home, and gravitate toward a seating area with ease and confidence. Offer them a drink as soon as they arrive, and provide guidance on how to procure the next one.

Drinks

Buy half price wine that was at least £10 before the reduction was applied. Supermarkets will always have at least 5 of these offers. Just pick the ones with the best labels, and you’re good to go. Don’t pretend to know about wine.

Make sure you have Diet Coke or Coke Zero in. People seem to like that. They also seem to enjoy Brewdog, and craft beer, and all that. And Spanish lagers. It’s a bit different, I suppose – despite it being everywhere, and everyone drinking it.

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Nibbles

Nibbles nibbles nibbles nibbles nibbles nibbles nibbles nibbles nibbles nibbles

Bowls of crisps and nuts, chopped up cheese. Basically, people will eat anything if it’s small enough, within their reach, and there’s lots of it. You wouldn’t eat a whole 15cm sausage roll before you had dinner, but cut it into 8, and you’d probably eat every last bit without thinking.

Chit Chat BLAH BLAH BLAH

It can be useful to have some anecdotes prepared. Again, they don’t have to be true, just believable. Other than that, my small talk technique is to nod and agree, and say “oh, really?” People generally like talking about themselves, so you’re onto a winner if you ask a lot of questions.

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Desserts

Don’t try to be clever with a Vienetta.

The End

Guests will not know when to go. They will need your help. Think of ways to instigate their exodus, before their arrival. The key to a good dinner party is to have an exit strategy.

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