Organisation is key.
Executing a successful event is 70 per cent organisation. Start a few days early and count down to your guests’ arrival. I like to start with cleaning out the fridge three days before, so that there is room for all the new ingredients.
Set the table a day before.
This way you can ensure that you have everything from napkins to chairs and tableware in place, and you won’t have to scramble at the last second.
When planning your menu, pay attention to guests that may have special dietary restrictions and work around them. I like to make one or two dishes last minute but if you want to be present with your guests, it’s nice to prepare more ahead of time by making dishes that only require simple reheating. Avoid foods that generate too much smoke, if possible.
Prepare some canapés for early arrivers.
The arrival time between guests may vary, especially in a home environment. Some guests may be hungry while waiting for others to get there. Take care of them with some simple canapés that pair well with champagne or cocktails.
Overstock the bar.
There may be a few guests that enjoy the party so much that they drink your bar dry. Buy more drinks than you need.
Get wine glass markers.
Invest in stylish wine glass markers to make it easy for your guests to identify their glass. After a few drinks (and unless you’re wearing a distinctive lipstick), it’s easy to forget which vessel is yours: a mistake no one wants to be making during a year stained by Covid-19.
Create a cleaning area.
Don’t forget to make space for all the dirty plates. Be sure to clear the sink before guests arrive. Stacking up items in piles is a clever way to organise yourself and will lead to an easier clean-up afterwards.
Pay attention to sustainability. We often create a lot of waste after a party. One way to have a zero-plastic party is to borrow plates from friends or from companies that do this. You can cut down on single-use plastic this way.
Editor’s note: The Eighth Plate and Invisible Kitchen are both Hong Kong-based suppliers that offer tableware rental.