The unwanted pre-dinner party scenario:

The guests are arriving and you’re sweating in the kitchen, manically pulling hors d’ ouvres out of the oven, a couple skidding on the floor, tea towel cops a little burning and you still haven’t done your makeup.

You sneak into the bathroom, wipe the sweat from your brow and hurriedly put your face on. This is NOT how things were meant to go!

You had grand visions of a relaxed, dignified evening, putting your culinary skills and new homewares on display but instead, it’s panning out like an impromptu flat share house party – without the music. WITHOUT THE MUSIC! No wonder the vibe wasn’t there, you forgot the tunes. You breathlessly greet your guests, sidling towards the CD player, fumbling for that unobtrusive but on-trend compilation the skinny kid at JB swore was perfect for the occasion.

Phew, music is on, hors d’ ouvres aren’t TOO overcooked but wine to calm the nerves is number one priority. A few gulps in you remember you haven’t had a chance to eat… this night isn’t going to be the classy affair you fantasised about as you happy danced around your beautiful new dining set.

Now it’s time to get back in the kitchen to work on the main. In hindsight, it probably would have been wiser to produce an oven-roasted creation rather than this stove top doozy you’ve never tried. It’s touch and go but you get it on the plates and out to your guests only to realise you’ve served it up on your old crockery, not the divine Shervin Verkil Rania creation this party was partly organised to show-off!

At least dessert goes off without a hitch but by this stage you’re utterly exhausted, the wine has gone straight to your head and all you really want to do is pass out in front of Netflix.

The good news is, you CAN have the perfect dinner party; it just involves some forward planning and reserving the day of the party for the finishing touches – not for the production of the whole she-bang.

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