When hosting a dinner, “less is more when it comes to apps and snacks,” says Bryan Batt, an award-winning actor, author, designer, and consummate host. “I used to start off with big, beautiful cheese and charcuterie boards, but guests got full before dinner. Now we stick to serving light bites during cocktails. Giant red Peppadews are a must-have on our spreads. They taste delicious, look gorgeous, and require no prep work.” Here’s what else he suggests for an ovation-worthy gathering.
Bryan Batt’s 6 Dinner Party Rules
- DO put all the lights on dimmers. Ambient lighting is more affordable and far less painful than plastic surgery!
- DON’T arrive too early or too late. And never follow Heidi Klum down a red carpet.
- DO offer a festive “mocktail” for the designated drivers, mamas-in-the-making, and other souls not imbibing.
- DON’T sweat the small stuff. Relax and have fun hosting because even the best actors and actresses can’t hide stress.
- DO what you do best, and outsource the rest. To put it bluntly, if you’re not a cook, then cater.
- DON’T cry over spilled milk. Or red wine. Think of a stain as a “parting gift” from a guest who had a really good time.
“It’s a party, not a production! Don’t attempt to impress your guests—simply aim to inspire them.”—Bryan Batt
Produced by Margaret Zainey Roux | Photography by Kerri McCaffety