Since the creation of Come Dine with Me, the British population has transformed into lovers of dinner parties. Here, Meljo Cheriyan, Restaurant Manager at Island Grill, offers his years of experience and professional advice on the best ways to make sure your evening is one to be remembered.

Plan your Time

The first vital step is to create a timeframe of your evening. Think about your oven and hob space, and what you’re going to need to be able to serve your starter, main course and dessert on schedule. Three courses which all require an oven will be tricky, so opt for a cold starter or dessert. Then create a timetable – and try to stick to it!

Create Ambience

Creating a sense of occasion at Island Grill is something we work hard to do, from our low-hanging pendant lights to the flickering tea-lights on the tables. To create a relaxed atmosphere, turn the lights down, play quiet background music and light your favourite scented candles. 

Don’t Forget the Nibbles

Appetisers are the perfect way to open your evening, but they don’t have to be complicated. Visit your local delicatessen and purchase something simple and delicious like our Green Olive Ciabatta, served with olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar – the perfect sharing plate!

Go Seasonal

Here at Island Grill we are known for our ever-changing seasonal menus. The best dinner parties are the ones where the host is at ease from start to finish. Cook a dish that showcases seasonal produce, as the ingredients will shine without using an overcomplicated recipe. Produce that is in season is also cheaper, so the host’s wallet won’t suffer either.

Add the Finishing Touches

Slick presentation can transform a simple dish into something straight from the chef’s kitchen. For starters and mains, add a drizzle of olive oil or balsamic glaze, a grind of black pepper or a garnish of micro herbs. To elevate your desserts use a tea strainer to sprinkle a powdering of icing sugar or cocoa powder across the dessert. If you’re feeling creative, you could pipe some coulis in a design of your choice from a chef’s squeezy bottle.