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How to Host a Digital Dinner Party

In these times of isolation, we need to try to stay as connected as possible. Spring entertaining may look a little different this year but with some planning and organisation, virtual drinks or a digital dinner party can spread some much-needed joy in a time of uncertainty. Using technology to organise a dinner party might feel unfamiliar, but virtual social events can be incredibly enjoyable and its surprising how virtual catchups can facilitate real, meaningful and honest interactions with family and friends.

If you're new to hosting virtual gatherings or would like some inspiration to inspire your next dinner party, then this article is for you. Read on to learn our tips and tricks to help you entertain with confidence, even if it is over the internet. #StayHomeSaveLives

 

Choose Your Platform & Invites

It wouldn't be a party without any guests. Once you've found a time when everyone is free, invite and connect via your video platform of choice. To create a sense of occasion, you could even design a digital invite using platforms such as Paperless Post.

There are plenty of platforms that allow you to connect with your friends via video call, our favourites include House Party, Skype, Zoom, and Whatsapp. These platforms are all super easy to set up and will work on either your phone, laptop, tablets, Facebook Portal or smart TV depending on the platform that you choose. Where possible, we recommend using a laptop or tablet with a larger screen so that you can see all of your guests clearly at once.

Make sure that all of your guests get set up ahead of the call and test their microphones and speakers to avoid those awkward connection issues on the night.

Setting the Mood

Although the event is online, you can still set the mood and this is an important part of your evening. As with any dinner party, it's good to consider mood lighting. Dimmed lamps, candlelight and fairy lights are a good way to add warm lighting and make things feel more intimate and festive.

You don't need to do much to achieve a little ambience. Try dimming your lights and placing a lamp or candle near your device, even this will create a wonderful atmosphere.

 

Music

No dinner party is complete without the perfect soundtrack. Why not create a shared playlist with your guests on Spotify so that you and your friends can share nostalgic favourites and songs with a shared sentiment. As it's virtual, it's important to keep the music low and we recommend each guest using quiet music for their own experience rather than trying to play loud music for everyone to hear, this will just make conversations hard to follow.

Get Outside or Let the Outside in

If you have a good internet connection, why not make the most of the stunning Spring weather by hosting your online dinner party in your garden. If you are hosting on a mobile device, you can give your guests a virtual tour of your garden and the flowers that are starting to bloom.

If you don’t have a garden or typical English weather strikes, you can let the outside in by positioning yourself in front of an open window or door. The natural light and fresh air are not only good for your health, but the scene provides the perfect alfresco backdrop for a glass of wine and an online conversation with friends.

Dress to Digitally Impress

While we're staying home and isolating, many of us haven’t had a reason to dress up. Self-care can go a long way at times like these, helping to boost your mood and lift your spirits. For a virtual dinner party, dressing up gives everyone a reason to make some effort so why not create a dress code or fancy-dress theme for your virtual dinner party. Fancy dress is always a great conversation starter and everyone can get creative to use what they have in their home to fit the theme. From comical Spring hats to a formal black-tie evening, you and your friends can play with the theme as much as you wish, creating some wonderful memories in the process.

Go All Out

If you are going to do a virtual dinner party, why not go all out? Perhaps you’ve decided on a theme, or dress code or maybe you just want to host something fancy? Don’t be afraid to put out your finest dinner plates, cutlery, flatware and table dressings. It may seem strange to dress a table for virtual guests but it’s a quirky and fun way to enhance your own virtual experience. Dressing the table to your dinner party theme creates a feast for the virtual eyes, consider colourful linens, glasses, candles, flowers and textured materials which coordinate with your theme and setting.

Make a Menu with Recipes


There’s something so wonderful about sharing the same meal with your friends and family. Just because the dinner party is virtual, it doesn’t mean that you can’t cook and enjoy the same meals together. Perhaps you have a signature dish that your friends love, now’s the time to share your secret recipes and hopefully, you will receive some in return too. For your dinner party, why not create a menu and share the recipes with your guests? This is a great way to share the dining experience as you would if you were together in person. You could even try cooking together too. Everyone cooking the same dish creates so much room for conversation, you can learn new recipes and you may even elevate your cooking skills or find that there's a budding chef in your group.

Games

No dinner party is complete without a good game or two. Going virtual doesn’t stop you from creating a trivia quiz for you and your guests to play while you’re on your video call. Alternatively, there are lots of great apps that create dinner party games for you. We recommend downloading the House Party app because it's not only a great tool to connect with the people, it also comes with a range of different virtual games that you can play together.

A shared experience, albeit digital, gets everyone connecting again and thinking towards happier times ahead. When the conversation and drinks have been flowing and the night is done, you can just say your goodbyes, power down and enjoy the savings that you've made in babysitting costs and taxi fares.

How ever you are spending your time at home, we hope that you are keeping well and finding ways to stay connected and productive. We hope that you've found these tips helpful in hosting your next virtual dining experience - happy digital dining!

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