November 10, 2017

How To Host A French Themed Dinner Party

A dinner party is the ultimate sophisticated way to entertain friends. You’ve got a whole world of cuisines to choose from but if there’s one country that’s more famous for its food than any other, it’s France. They have a long, rich culinary history that’s produced some of the classiest and most delicious food in the world. They’re also well renowned for hosting incredible events. If you want to recreate the magic of the French dinner party, follow these simple steps.

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Wine
Ask somebody where you get the best wine, and they’ll say France. It’s one of the things that it’s best known for and no French dinner party would be complete without a good wine selection. That doesn’t mean you can head to the local supermarket and pick up a couple of cheap bottles and be done with it. If you’re serious about recreating a true French experience, you’ll need to find a proper wine store and get something more authentic. It’s worth spending a bit more money on it, otherwise, you’ll just end up getting bad quality wines. A nice Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir should suit everybody’s taste, make sure you get a few bottles so you don’t run out.

Food
If you’re going to host a French themed dinner party, the food is obviously going to be a central part of it. There are so many iconic dishes that have come out of France so you’ve got a huge amount to choose from. It’s best to go for one of the classics that you can be sure that everybody will love.

Soupe à l'oignon, or onion soup, is a great choice for the starter. People are often put off this dish because they don’t believe that the simple ingredients can create such an elegant taste. The secret is in the caramelization of the onions, but the croutons and the melted cheese on top don’t do it any harm. It’s a very inoffensive flavor that most people can get on board with.

Coq au vin, or chicken in wine, is another staple of French cooking that’s sure to impress your guests. The chicken, slow cooked in red wine, melts in the mouth. Most of the time it’s cooked using a burgundy, don’t waste the expensive wines that you bought for drinking when you’re cooking. Some simple dauphinoise potatoes make a great accompaniment to coq au vin.

If you fancy something a little more hearty that’s perfect for a dinner party during the winter months, beef bourguignon is the way to go. Its essentially a beef stew made with red wine, but it’s French, so they manage to make it so much better somehow. You want to cook it low and slow until the meat falls apart easily.

For dessert, if you’re brave enough, you could try a chocolate souffle. It’s one of the most popular French desserts but it’s notoriously difficult to make. It’s very easy to get a sunken souffle if you don’t get it right so I’d recommend doing a few practice runs before you invite guests over to try it.
Tarte Tatin is a slightly easier choice for people that aren’t quite as confident in the kitchen. This amazing apple tart relies on a few simple ingredients, apples, sugar and cinnamon, to create an elegant dessert that your guests are sure to love.

Decoration
No sophisticated French dinner party would be complete without the right decoration. The natural look is a brilliant way to recreate the atmosphere of a quaint little cafe in Paris. Combining some natural features with an elegant tea set style table setting is the perfect way to capture that look. It’s all about the little details so cut some fresh flowers and make table decorations from them. During the summer, you should definitely consider hosting it outside. Nothing captures the relaxed French atmosphere better than a summers evening.

Don’t Rush
In Europe, people often don’t sit down to have their evening meal until ten or eleven at night during the summer. They’ll sit out in the early hours of the morning, slowly snacking on food and wine. Followed by a cheese board and some coffees. It’s a very relaxed affair and the entire evening is built around the meal. When you’re planning your dinner party, you shouldn’t think of it as just eating a meal, don’t rush your guests and prepare for a meal that lasts long into the night. That way you can emulate this laid back bohemian mentality that you find in France.

A French themed dinner party is the perfect way to wow your guests, and now you know the secret to getting it right. 

*This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.