Organizing a sit-down meal
- Don't try anything you haven't done before - test new ideas out well in advance!
- Don't go for a five-course dinner with nibbles, hot and cold starters, fish, meat, cheese and dessert. It'll take too long to prepare.
- If you know what your guests like, cater to their tastes.
- Don't spend half the meal in the kitchen fussing: your guests are here to see you, not just to marvel at your culinary skills!
Organizing a buffet
- A buffet is the most practical option if you're catering for more than 20 people.
- Go for finger food, snacks and nibbles that you don't need a plate for.
- Get the balance right between hot and cold, raw and cooked, sweet and savory dishes, so that there's something for everyone.
- Make a list of easy cocktails to conjure up.
- If you're no master chef, buy pre-prepared or frozen food, or order food in and present it nicely!
For party recipes, snacks, biscuits, cakes, cocktails see our Food & Drink section.