A Modern Dinner Party

  • Posted on 25th April 2017 by HQ Writer… Jillian

  • Meet the Penhaligon’s staff, working throughout our stately home and company,
    with a wealth of knowledge beyond the ins and outs of the esteemed Portrait’s Family.

    Allow the staff to guide you through the streets of London, delve into fragrance and instil proper Penhaligon’s dinner party etiquette.


    We are living in a society where dinner parties have swept back into fashion. With this some of us find ourselves in a conundrum of how far we should follow British ‘Tradition’, we frantically search the internet looking for ideas and advice, call friends and family while kicking ourselves for offering to host.

    When you are having a mini melt down about hosting, take a moment and think how lucky you are that we don’t live in the Victorian era. William and Elisabeth Penhaligon would have taken etiquette very seriously. Mrs Penhaligon would have been hand writing invitations requesting the pleasure of a maximum of 12 people for a date 4-6 weeks away with guests all from the same circle of society, and sending by ‘Special Messenger’! While in the year 2017 we may casually drop a group ‘WhatsApp’ or create a ‘Paperless Post’ invitation advertising a Mexican fiesta with a wide range of people from all over.

    So, gone are the days of creating an elaborate 5 course menu, slaving for hours over the stove (or ordering your staff to), dusting off the cutlery canteen that houses pieces you are unsure what they are used for, while worrying the soufflé won’t rise.

    Some tips on how to host a relaxed but memorable dinner party in 2017:

    •    Plan ahead: Once you have a confirmed dates with your guests start to think of a theme for the menu, don’t over stretch yourself remember this is a party. A theme makes it much easier when choosing courses and dressing the table, keep in mind if you have any guests who don’t eat certain things

    •    Practice: Ensure you have made the food before the event, no one needs the added stress of worrying about cooking times and taste, additionally it means as a host you can enjoy a refreshing pre-dinner drink

    •    The Table, this is the perfect place to add a touch of tradition with you own flare:

    o    Linen napkins instead of paper, as well as traditional it also adds the feeling of luxury
    o    Flowers on the table, this doesn’t need to be a display you could add multiple vases 
    along the table          or in a circle, moss plants create warmth and add a modern touch
    o    Candles are a great decoration, just ensure they are not scented, you don’t want your 
    food to taste          of your favourite candle. If you want to use a scented candle it is best to burn before your guests              arrive, maybe while having drinks
    o    Charger plates can change a table instantly as well as protecting your table from the 
    heat of the                 plates
    o    Set the table the night before, this means you can move things about without feeling 
    rushed. I                   change my table as much as I move about the decorations on the Christmas tree!

    •    Start with a cocktail hour or two, if things go wrong will your guests notice!?

    Happy dining
    Some of my favourite shops for table items

    Great for; Candles, Candle Holders, Linen Napkins and Glassware

    Fun crockery and serving dishes

    Table centres, candles, linens

    Zara Home
    Table runners, Candles, Fun cutlery, Glassware, Charger Plates

    Your family’s cupboards!
    You can usually find a bit of traditional tableware

  • Leave your comment
    • (Leave blank to show as anonymous)
    • *
    • (Required, this will not display)
    • *
      • Reload