Updated 12 September 2016

5 ways to beat dinner party anxiety


You don’t have to be Nigella to host an amazing shindig. It all comes down to planning ahead and having fun on the night. And a glass of wine doesn’t hurt, either.

1. Have a game plan
But not one so elaborate that you have to end up making lists of your lists. Figure out what you want to make, what you need to buy, how much you can make ahead, and what needs to go in the oven or on the hob when the guests arrive. 

2. Spruce up the place
Clean as if your mother-in-law is coming to visit. Yes, your guests are mostly friends and they should love you no matter what, but they shouldn’t have to witness a pile of unwashed dishes or have a hayfever attack from the pet hair on the couch.

3. Set the scene
You only live once. Break out the good plates, glasses and cutlery. Iron those cloth napkins. Put some fresh flowers on the table. Woolies has some pretty amazing seasonal bouquets that last surprisingly long thanks to the retailer’s efficient cold chain. It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

4. Ace the mise en place
The more chaotic your kitchen, the more you’re likely to have a mild panic attack while cooking for a crowd. Run a tight ship by setting out the ingredients you need to cook with in advance: chop and slice everything that needs prepping, measure what needs measuring. 

5. Keep calm and carry on
Even if the soufflé ends up decidedly un-pouffy, the tagine a tad under-seasoned or you forgot to get cream for the pavlova, you will live to see another day – and host another dinner party.

For delicious healthy dinner party dishes, visit Woolworths 


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