Often, rustic dinner parties are spring, summer or autumn-themed, seldom winter. But because we at La Fete HQ love to buck the trend, we’ve put together our top tips for throwing a rustic winter dinner (and no, it’s not Christmassy!). This theme is actually more versatile than it seems at first, thus allowing you to tailor it to your needs and desires.
You can throw this dinner as a casual gathering in your living room, decking out your coffee table with décor and sharing platters of food, or in your dining room for a more formal affair, complete with props, lighting design and false snow. If you’re feeling adventurous and can withstand the cold, why not turn the outdoors into your venue? In order to maximise daylight, host a lunch instead of a dinner and make sure to have plenty of warm blankets available. Add to that a roaring firepit and fluffy hot water bottles and you won’t feel the cold one bit!
For the hot water bottles, why not personalise them in your guests’ favourite colours or with their names on? It’s an extremely practical gift and I don’t know about you, but it’s never really the type of thing you actively seek out to buy for yourself.So now your guests are warm and have a gift, but what should you feed them? It depends massively on how you choose to host this theme, but there are some common denominators. I’m partial to winter favourites, such as tartiflette, fondue, raclette, jacket potatoes and warming stews. Add to that the classic charcuterie and cheeseboards and you’ve got a winning combo. In order to balance out the heaviness of your mains, make sure to include some more ‘pretty’ food, such as daintily iced cupcakes, white chocolate dipped strawberries, silver macarons, etc. Oh and s’mores! You have a firepit after all.
As for drinks, mulled wine is a classic for a reason, but also make sure to have a selection of hot drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc). Set them up as a self-service stall, allowing your guests to refill as often as they like. I also want to give a special mention to mulled gin, which I discovered this winter and promptly fell in love with! For your drink stand, why not set it up on top of a vintage sledge? You can truly go crazy on décor for this theme: trees, false snow (or real!), vintage ice skates, tartan throws, logs, lanterns, candles, Fair Isle everything, and to give your event a bit more of an edge, don’t hesitate to marry your winter rustic aesthetic to another style, such as industrial inspirations. You can also allythe overall theme to a colour, era or culture (a Norwegian inspired dinner will be different to a Swiss-inspired one).
I know you might be longing for Spring, but before winter is up, make sure to throw a rustic dinner party, if only to indulge on baked Camembert and hot chocolate.