2. Master the art of dinner parties (part 1)

Part 1 of 2 (read part 2 here)

My recent attempts at hosting a dinner party have included: locking myself out of the flat with potatoes boiling over on the hob and duck burning in the oven followed by a £50 emergency call out for a locksmith; getting blind drunk and ending up dancing on my housemate’s homemade coffee table (sorry Lizzie) and making a thai green curry so hot that my guests went home hungry, unable to ingest the heat.

Now that I’ve moved in with my boyfriend, living in a beautiful flat which we’re slowing filling with our very own furniture, it’s time to learn how it's really done.

My initial apprehension on mastering this art led me to a number of questions... Do I invite my vegetarian friends doubling the amount of dishes to tackle? Do I force my guests to eat gluten-free just because I'm wheat intolerant? Do I stock up on every type of beverage my guests might desire or do I limit their choice and control the spend? And how do I both cook and host.

My beautiful table ready and waiting

I overlooked however, the first hurdle, which wouldn't be addressing any of these questions at all. It would instead, be to persuade my boyfriend that this could actually be fun. A combination of fear about dinner parties being 'too grown up' and a passionate dislike for booking any event more than a day in advance meant that he was not going to be on board.

My solution? Go it alone. And so I started concocting my first 'grown up' dinner party, planning to invite a group of my best Bristol-based girlfriends.

Only to my surprise, as soon as I had given up on the idea of hosting as a couple, my boyfriend invited a fellow couple over to dinner! And in his true last-minute's-better-than-planning fashion, we had one day to prepare.

Find out what we cooked and why defrosting the freezer is "not an evening job" next time...

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