To celebrate my newfound independence and moving to my own apartment for the first time, I have invited a few friends over for dinner at home. And since I only have the bare necessities with me, I had to find clever ways to style the party without breaking the bank.

Simple but chic food presentation

To save time and energy, I opted to order food and party drink hampers that I customised with a variety of sweet and savoury treats that I put together to make a lovely grazing table. I made use of the hampers and lined it with a cloth so that it can hold a variety of bread and placed it next to the cheeseboard.

Food hampers are the most practical and time-saving option for easy dinner party preps. You can have everything you need in one pretty basket which can be up-cycled – in my case, I used it as the breadbasket. It made my life easy, and my grazing table looked gorgeous.

One main dish and a buffet of snacks

Top view of group of people having dinner together

I opted to set a light and easy dinner mood where the guests can lounge and chat on the couch and free to grab something to nosh on whenever they like. With the lack of a cocktail table, I opted to utilise the middle shelves of my tall shelf to set up a snack shelf.

The upper shelf was used as a place for the buckets of snacks. And the shelf below it was used as a place for the small bowls, small plates and utensils. That way, it was easy for them to reach for a treat without having to leave the room and interrupt the conversation.

Come dinner time, we all gathered around the table and had a single course meal.

Make your own mocktail bar

Seeing that my guests will be driving home quite late in the evening, I opted to set up a mini mocktail bar where they can mix their own sparkling drinks sans alcohol. All that was needed were some bottles of juice, sparkling water, a few straight-sided rocks glass, and some real bar drink garnish like dried fruit slices and fresh fruit slices.

Picked up an ice bucket with a matching spoon – the biggest I can find – and filled it with crushed ice just like proper bar ice so that the guests can make pretty glasses of mocktails. Told them it’s an open bar and that they can drink as much as they wish and that made everyone happy.

Party Favours for Grown-Ups

Finally, the party favours. I picked mini bottles of Prosecco and tagged it with a thank you note and their names written on it. To make sure it remained a surprise treat for my friends, I used one of the other food hampers to store these mini bottles, stowed it in the cupboard until it was go-home time.

The mini bottles added a flair of sophistication to the low-key and laid-back dinner and mocktails night, and the bottles were just the right size for an awesome party favour – the grown-up way. I didn’t expect to have that much fun for a dinner party, considering there were only enough guests to fit a six-seat table.

But it was a night spent well with friends and one we’ll remember for a long time.

Are you hosting a party at your home soon? Share with us how you’d decorate and style your dinner party – we’d love to hear from you!