Solve These 9 Last-Minute Dinner Party Problems

It’s 7:30 and your guests are about to arrive for your dinner party. Suddenly, you’re just realizing there’s something wrong. Don’t panic.
Here’s how to solve these nine last-minute problems.

Tablecloth is stained

stained tablecloth
If the other tablecloth is part of your laundry, then the only solution is to fake it until you make it. Hide the stain(s) with candles, glass beads, rose petals scattered on the table, or something else that will distract the eye. Simple and effective.

Silverware is dirty

Dump your silverware in a plastic tub filled with boiling water and coarse salt and lined with aluminium foil. By electrolysis, any oxidation covering the silverware will be deposited on the aluminium. Once that’s done, dry your silverware, clean it properly, and buff it.

Glasses are calcified

Leave them in a water bath with some added white vinegar. Gently rub them with a cloth.

I don’t have enough plates

If you’ve forgotten that your eighth plate was broken (or chipped) during your last dinner party, then go for something original. Try mixing two types of dishware.

I don’t have enough napkins

Same suggestion: alternate different sets. Either one off per guest, or you can downright do different towels for each person.
To make things even simpler, buy fancy paper towels or throwaway napkins that match your plates.

Kitchen smells have overrun the place

old kitchen
Three options:

  • 1. Boil a little bit of white vinegar (with or without some citrus zest or essential oil). Use a pan without a lid. Keep an eye on it, as vinegar evaporates very quickly.
  • 2. Light a scented candle or incense in the dining room.
  • 3. If you have a fire burning in your fireplace, throw some orange peel.

Meat is overdone

You forgot your chicken in the pan while you were prepping the bathroom. Your guests are arriving in 20 minutes, and the roast is completely inedible.
Plan to have in your freezer “backup food”, just in case. Some frozen meat or fish (like salmon) that is very easy and quick to cook at last minute.

I just remembered one of the guest is vegetarian

Take out the frozen dish you have as your back-up plan (or other frozen veggies) from the freezer, and prep your oven or (worst case scenario) the micro-wave. You can also double-up on the side dishes.

Wine is corked

corked wine
Before anything else, you should aerate the wine at least an hour before dinner. This is the perfect time to taste it, and check if it is actually corked.
Always have “more than enough” when it comes to your drinks. You should build a small stock of good wine bottles that you renew regularly. And if you really don’t have any wine left, offer something original, like cocktails or even a champagne dinner. You can also always run down to your local supermarket.
If you plan on having wine at your dinner party, take a look at our articles on easy decanting and serving it at the perfect temperature.

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