I’ve lived in my neighbourhood for close to a dozen years now and from the day we moved in we’ve been fast friends with a few couples whose company we enjoy and who we can count on if we need to.
We didn’t even have fences between our yards until a couple of us got a dog and even then we installed a gate for easy access between our houses. During the summer months we generally wind up in the back yard Friday or Saturday night catching up over a glass of wine but as the cold weather sets in we often don’t see each other for long periods of time.
A few years back a friend told me about how her neighbours used to have these progressive dinner parties, where you would have appetizers at one person’s house, then move to the next house for the entrée and someone else’s for dessert. I really liked the idea but it seemed like a lot of unnecessary work for everyone so I devised a plan to make the progressive dinner party easier to manage. We created the Canterbury Dinner Club which included four couples. Each couple would hold one dinner a month during the fall and winter, rotating between between us.
The couple holding the dinner are in charge of the entrée and the other three are assigned the appetizer, soup or salad and dessert with each course paired with an appropriate wine. Just like the dinners, the wines are progressive usually starting with Champagne or Prosecco then whites or reds depending on the dish.
We try to come up with themes but one of the big rules is you have to dress up…no jeans allowed, which makes it feel special. We’ve had an Oscar dinner where we dressed in gowns and did a movie quiz, an Oktoberfest dinner with German music, a Kareoke night and so many more. Sometimes we just pick a country and theme the food based on that. Everyone gets into the mood by researching what dish they can create to fit the theme and we always have a great time doing it.
It gives us all something to look forward to each month during the dull days of winter. Affords us the ability to stay close to home (no need to worry about drinking and driving since we can all walk). To get dressed up and use our fine china and generally feel like we’ve been out for a night on the town without paying hundreds of dollars at some fancy restaurant. This is not to say we never go out to eat but in today’s economy this is a great way to spend an evening out with friends without spending big bucks.
I’ve shared this idea with some of my colleagues and they’ve all said how much they loved it so I wanted to share it with you.
Do you have a great idea for a dinner party?