Mark our words: 2023 is the year of the dinner party. Forget expensive nights out at the buzzy new restaurant where it's nearly impossible to get a reservation. Don’t cozy nights hosting friends (both old and new) in the comfort of your own home sound much more appealing?
Before you break open your cookbooks or send out invites though, you’ll need to stock up on a few hosting essentials. Do you have enough (matching) dinnerware? You wouldn’t want to be a fork short or have to quickly wash dishes before the dessert course. Creating a relaxed, intimate ambiance is an art, but we have a few ideas to get you started.
Scroll on for nine tablescape must-haves that’ll earn you the title of the hostess with the mostess. We’ll be patiently awaiting our dinner invite.
Hawkins New York Essential Stoneware 16-Piece Dinnerware Set
Hate to break it to you, but your mismatched dinnerware—cobbled together from whatever hasn’t chipped, broken, or become lost over the years—won’t cut it for a cohesively designed dinner party. Instead, invest in coordinating dinnerware, like this 16-piece stoneware set. Each set includes four large bowls, four low bowls, four salad plates, and four dinner plates—either in yellow, blue, or pink. They’re both pretty and pragmatic, ideal for both everyday and special occasions.
Cave Glow Studio Dusk Beeswax Tapers - Set of 3
Overhead lights should not be invited to your dinner parties. Instead, create a cozy ambiance with a series of taper candles. This set, a trio of handmade candles made with pure beeswax, cotton wicks, and natural dye, will add color, warmth, and height to your tablescape—all musts for a memorable dinner party. Each candle lasts approximately nine hours, so get another dinner on the books. These will last you a while.
Our Place Gather Platters
No matter what’s on the menu for your dinner party, chances are this set of two curved platters will come in handy again and again. The slightly lipped edges keep appetizers, main dishes, and dessert spreads in place—and look pretty-as-can-be in the center of a dining or buffet table too. They also stack neatly, which is necessary since we all know how valuable kitchen cabinet space is.
Anthropologie Glinda Glass Dessert Plate
If you weren’t lucky enough to inherit your grandma’s delicate dessert plates, nab a few of these colorful glass plates from Anthropologie. Choose from one of the four vibrant hues (gold, kelly green, dark blue, or violet) or mix and match them for a rainbow effect. They’re equally retro and modern, so your guests won’t know if they’re from the ‘60s or if you bought them six days ago. And here you thought your famous cherry pie couldn’t look any better.
Caldo Linen Dinner Napkins
Don’t you dare even think about giving your dinner guests a paper towel. For proper dinner parties, you’ll want to invest in a set of reusable napkins, like this linen and cotton blend. Not only do they make for a pretty place setting, but they’re practical too. They’re soft and stain-resistant—they can also be thrown in the wash after each use.
Millstream Home Round Serving Board with Handle
Whoever invented the love languages forgot to include the most important one of all: cheese and charcuterie, a must for most dinner parties. Plate up your best cheddar and prosciutto with this have-it-forever handmade serving board. Its uses are nearly limitless, from pizzas, vegetables, and dips, to an array of bite-sized desserts—you name it. The built-in hole in the handle makes for easy hanging too.
Good Talk 150 Conversation Cards
To keep the conversation flowing at your dinner parties, keep a box of these Good Talk cards on hand. The questions (all 150 of them) range from lighthearted to funny to deep—all appropriate regardless of who’s coming over for dinner. That way you can break these out whether you’re hosting your best friends, in-laws, or new neighbors. Questions include “What’s something that you are proud to have learned lately?” and "Who in this group is most likely to die first in a horror movie?"
Anthropologie Waterfall Coupe Glasses, Set of 4
Whatever beverage you’re serving at your dinner parties—whether it be martinis, mocktails, Champagne, or a crisp Chenin blanc—these classic coupe glasses are sure to make them look sip-worthy. These crystalline coupes come with a hand-painted 24k gold rim, giving them an Old Hollywood air of elegance. Cheers!
Maison Balzac Pompom Candle Holder
Candles? Check. Now you need an eye-catching candle holder (or two or three) to prop up your taper candles. These pompom candle holders from Maison Balzac are particularly charming. Not only do they lift up your candles, bringing much-needed height and light to your tablescape, but they’re a design wonder on their own. They’re made from hand-blown glass in unexpected colors that will surely glow in the candlelight.