If you can’t go to Paris, why not bring Paris to you? One of the things the French love is eating good food, drinking tasty wine, and excellent conversations. The main thing to remember about throwing a French inspired dinner party is to make it look as casual and effortless as possible. No one needs to know how much time you spent planning, prepping and cooking, and you don’t need to! Here are some helpful tips to help your dinner soiree feel as French as possible.
Set The Mood
Think candlelight, soft French café music playing in the background, some string lights and instantly you are in a French garden. Spotify or Apple Music have great playlists for both upbeat and relaxing French style music. Place some small candles across the table or feature one large candle as a centerpiece. If you don't already have string lights for your patio, these can also create an ambiance for when the sun goes down, letting the party continue into the evening.
Set The Table
If you are eating outdoors (which is très chic and much more French) place a tablecloth first, adding a touch of sophistication instantly. Keep both water and wine glasses readily available with water pitchers on the table to keep guests hydrated.
Set The Food
The French way to food is all about courses, your dinner shouldn’t feel rushes, it should feel relaxed and enjoyed. This gives you time to really appreciate the food and makes for great conversation.
- Start the evening off with aperitif and amuse-bouches (an alcoholic drink and single, bite-sized hors d’oeuvres), some champagne, or French 75 cocktail, accompanied with some olives, sausage, cheese, or other small finger foods.
- Next move on the entrée, this usually is contrived of a salad or seasonal soup
- The main dish, or plate principal, will be your main course, be sure to have items already placed and finished, or try recipes you can heat back up, so you can enjoy your guests and spend less time in the kitchen
- After the main dish, you’ll move on to the cheese platter. Plate a variety of cheese to be nibbled and tasted after dinner.
- Last but not least, dessert and coffee. You can always go gourmet and make your own French desserts, or simply buy them from a local bakery too. Macarons, madeleines, or fruit tartlets are a great dessert item. Don’t forget the espresso or coffee too!
Pick The Wine
The wine should be set with each course of the meals. For appetizers and salads think light champagne or gin and tonic. As the main dish arrives, switch to whites or rose, and end the meal with dessert and red wine. Don’t forget to include wine from different regions of France.
~ Bon appétit