With the lockdown life we’ve all been subjected to this past year, we’ve all been busy finding alternative ways to have some fun from the comfort of our own homes. With restaurants shut, plenty of time to invest in old or new hobbies and a desire to conjure up some recreational normality within our own four walls, one pastime that’s become a lot more popular of late is the idea of fine dining at home.
There’s no doubting that recreating an upmarket, restaurant-like experience in your own living room can make for a memorable evening, but how exactly does one pull it off? If you fancy creating an event from home that’s worthy of a Michelin star, we’ve put together a few tips on how to make fine dining at home happen.
Considering that your restaurant for the evening is a rather exclusive, one-table establishment, it makes sense to book your dining experience well in advance. Just like you’d make a restaurant reservation, pick a night in the calendar that works for you and whoever else you’ll be entertaining and make sure you have a firm date in the diary.
Having a little fun with “booking” your night will help create a sense of excitement and occasion for the date and set the tone that this isn’t any ordinary evening ahead. If you’re going to be the one preparing the food, make sure you choose a day where you’ve plenty of time to get everything you need done.
If you’ve ever watched an episode of Come Dine With Me, you’ll know that all participants receive a menu ahead of time to really get their tastebuds tingling before the evening commences. Of course, before you get that menu printed, you need to decide what’s on it – and this your chance to really push the boat out like never before.
To create a truly special dining from home experience, the food needs to be showstopping. If you think you’ve got it in your locker to create a culinary masterpiece, this is the time to go all out. If you’re not feeling as confident, don’t worry, you can always take advantage of the many amazing cook-at-home kits your favourite restaurants are pouring out at the moment.
As good as the food may be, the night wouldn’t be complete without the drinks to match. Whether we’re talking a nice settling pre-meal aperitif, an eye-catching and moreish cocktail or an absolutely delicious mocktail, your options with drinks across the evening are extensive.
Think about what you and your guests will enjoy the most and build a small, diverse and manageable drinks menu around it. There’s swathes of information online around cocktail and mocktail making, along with plenty of expert advice on tipple fundamentals like picking the right wine or ale to accompany a meal. The drinks you choose should be a suitable complement to the food, easy to make and, naturally, a tasty treat that everyone will enjoy.
If you’re confident you’ve got the food and drink nailed, it’s time to move on the setting for your evening. It’s an interesting challenge trying to create a special atmosphere in a room you’re so familiar with. Incorporate a few new elements into the space that give your dining room, living room, kitchen area or wherever you night is taking place a sense of exclusivity and prestige.
How do you do that? There are obvious mood-setters like lighting a few candles and putting on some appropriate music, but what about doing your best to mimic your favourite restaurant? Take what you like most about dining at your preferred establishment and bring it into your own home. There’s no harm in taking inspiration from the things you enjoy – it’ll make coming up with good ideas much easier.
These days, setting the table properly before every meal is rarity for many of us on-the-go types, but creating a truly standout tablespace is a must for your event. There are plenty of ways to go the extra mile with your table dressing. You might wish to add a tablecloth or two, use the “best” silver and glassware, add a centrepiece fixture to the table or indeed produce all three.
Again, this may be an area of design for the evening where you replicate the best efforts you’ve seen elsewhere. Your room and tale settings are essentially the cover of the book your evening will be judged by, so make sure they’re up to the standard of all that lovely food and drink you’ve prepared.
Finally, it’s time to spruce up the most important pieces of the evening – those being you and your esteemed guests. A fine dining night demands a certain dress code no matter where you are, so your DIY event should be treated no differently. You may wish to set a dress code before the event or simply ask your guests to make an effort. Just make sure you give yourself time to do the same!
The essence of your fine dining evening is to recreate going out at home, so dress as if you’re going out to the best restaurant in town and it should help give your night its own special feeling.
Now you know how to make fine dining at home, it’s time to think about your home itself. At Hammonds, we love creating truly personalised kitchen spaces for our customers – spaces you enjoy spending time in every time you’re there. With an array of ultra-modern, super stylish and intelligently modular kitchen designs to choose from, don’t look any further for a new kitchen than with us.
If you want to see more from us, you can order our design brochure right now. To get things moving a step further, book a design visit with one of our kitchen experts, or visit your local showroom today.