Are you thinking of having some friends over for an Autumnal dinner party and wondering how to set the scene? My first thought when planning a party is always "Oh my God, I have to clean the house" and then once that's done comes the fun part, choosing the menu plan and creating the ambiance!
We do a couples come dine with me with close friends, which is a great excuse to prioritise making time to throw a dinner party. Our dinner was an Autumn themed one and I recently came across the menu which prompted me to share my tips on this blog.
1. Food and drink come first. Once people have a glass in their hand, be it red, white, beer or nosecco, and a warm comforting meal, the rest flows. We chose a menu that was seasonal and raided the cookbooks to create a few different courses. The medjdool dates stuffed with parmesan and wrapped in bacon was a show stopper, and easy to prep ahead. We paired each course with a different wine, each selected from picking up tips from the lovely Bridey's wine chats on Instagram.
2. Set the table. Apart from food and wine, the next step in setting the scene is using Autumn colours and tones on the table. Some really simple and quick ways to spruce up your dinner table include having an autumn based table centre. I used a decorative string of leaves, candle and some pine cones to create the table centre in the image below in about 5 minutes!
Another lovely way to decorate is to paint your wine glasses. This is easily done using acrylic paint and I have the steps to this here.
You could also place each person's initials on the glass and give it to them as a keepsake at the end of the party in a decorative box.
3. Set the atmosphere with fire. Autumn calls for lots of candles and an open fire. Light a fire in your dining room if there is one, or even use the TV as a fire. Simply search on Sky for Christmas scenes and you will find the open fire one, or there are also some gorgeous Autumn scenes to have on in the background.
4. Set the atmosphere with music. I love classical music in the background to anything, I think it just helps everyone to relax. Its also nice to create a playlist though if you have friends over from a certain era (90's music!!!)
5. Set the atmosphere with scent. Bergamot and Cederwood are two of my favourite essential oils that are associated with Autumn. If you don't have a diffuser then just put a few drops into some boiling water and that works just as well. Just check no one has any sensitivities to these oils or is pregnant before using them.
6. Set the scene with an artistic focal point. This could be a sculpture, a piece of art, a rug on the wall, a wall hanging or a print. Make sure you have your talking point in a space where everyone has a good view to appreciate it. Think outside the box and think autumnal tones. We had just hung up Fantastic Mr Fox in the dining area before our dinner party and there was lots of chat about his eyes, he became a special guest at the party!!
Now, pop open a bottle and enjoy! 😉