As the Northern Hemisphere's summer party season draws to a close, it seems entertaining outdoors will have to wait until spring next year. This does not mean that we can no longer entertain and spend time with those whose company we enjoy. Quite the contrary: It is best to meet the autumn gloom with a great feast, to which we invite all of our friends. The winter season is dinner party season, as we see the perfect roasting produce of the colder months, slowly making their way back onto supermarket shelves. Of course with the onset of winter, we see the first falls of snow. What better way to enjoy the colder months than an escape to the alps, to ski, drink, and enjoy the beautiful mountainous scenery.
If you want to throw a dinner party, of course you need to know how to cook! It does not have to be a four-course Michelin star dining experience, but rather, wholesome, hearty food to keep your guests warm and cosy. Especially when inviting a large number of guests, it is important to prepare enough food to ensure everybody stays full, and to prepare food well ahead of time, to avoid those all to often last minute scrambles. A dinner party should be a pleasant experience for guests and hosts alike, so leave yourself enough time to comfortably prepare dishes. Of course, you could also ask your guests to all contribute a dish, which is a great idea if your party will be an international affair, allowing those attending to showcase the flavours and specialties from their own cultures.
Fundamental to any party, is to provide enough space for guests to be seated and eat comfortably. Shown here is a great space for entertaining, with a large dining table suitable for up to ten guests to be easily entertained. A great feature of this kitchen / dining space is that it is all in one room, allowing the chef to not feel like he or she is being left out of the party when preparing food or drinks.
Having a bar at home is seen as being a real status symbol. This particular room became popular during the economic boom period of the 70s and 80s, and remains popular in many larger western homes of today. Having an entertainment space in the basement of a home has many advantages, including noise reduction, segregation from the rest of the house, and feeling like your at your local bar without leaving home!
Seen here is a perfect rendition of a basement bar, complete with bar stools, a selection of spirits, stereo to keep the vibe high, and also great lighting. The best thing about having a bar at home of course, is not having to worry about getting home.
A more relaxed variation of an indoor party is a log cabin party. What better way to enjoy the winter months than a holiday in the alps. After a hard day spent skiing, snowboarding, or simply playing around in the snow, there is no better way to spend the evening than indoors by the fire, with a glass of red and a platter of cheese. Exposed timber walls and flooring, timber furnishing, neutral colours throughout, throw rugs, a fireplace and snow gently falling outside is a great setting for a small, quiet lounge room party.
If the quiet party slowly turns into a loud party, its great to know the apre ski bars of the resort town are only a few, deep, snow-filled boot steps away.
Click here for another perfect rendition of an alpine getaway.
The age old saying of 'two's a party, three's a crowd' definitely applies to this cosy little conservatory. An indoor party does not need to be a big affair to be fun. Grab your partner, a pot of tea and curl up by an open fireplace, and let the hours pass and the snow fall. What better way to spend a Sunday.
All too often dinner parties are a headache for hosts, as they are under-prepared or did not allow themselves enough time to get everything done. Stock the fridge in advance and prepare your dishes well ahead of time so when guests start pouring in you can sit back, relax and enjoy their company without worrying about pulling that roast out just in time. After all, winter can be bleak, and sometimes all we might have to look forward to is Sunday lunch, so enjoy them.