While I love a dinner party as much as the next person I find I prefer smaller, more intimate gatherings over having 12, or more, guests; especially when I’m hosting the event. I realize some of this is due to the fact that we (hubby and I) don’t have a cook to prepare, let alone a butler to serve, the meal (as in Downtown Abbey).
Downtown Abbey – Highclere Castle we’re not.
My favorite dinner party is hosting 2 other couples. There is something about a total of 6 that seems to work very well where conversation is concerned. I think it allows for a single conversation at the table since it is a smaller venue.
We entertain pretty informally; it’s all about the table settings and flowers for me. I still love a couple of our groups of friends that bring the number up to 8 and 10 respectively but somehow when we host 12 it becomes less satisfying for me. I think it’s because while cooking and serving I have less time to get around to visiting with everyone…sometimes that’s okay and sometimes I feel cheated out of a good visit with a friend.
That said here are some dining rooms I’d like to entertain in.
Ina Garten’s barn offers such warmth and style, while being so inviting. I’d love to have this kitchen/dining area in my house.
We have chairs on the ends of our dining room table, but I do love the way this looks with chairs on each side.
Isn’t this the most cheery room. Love the exposed beams and the lighting.
Any room with a lantern light wins my vote.
I think these wicker chairs are great.
I wonder if a round table would require a larger number of guests so that you didn’t feel like you were talking across a great expanse of table?
I like the idea of having a table for 2 in the library.
Who wouldn’t enjoy entertaining with a fireplace in the dining room?
This is pretty, not sure about the color of blue, but I like the essence of the room.
Another great dining space in a library.
What is your preference when you invite friends over for a meal, formal or informal?
Karen love all the images you posted. Beautiful – I want to eat in all of those rooms. I’m torn! I love 6-8 for a dinner party and I do feel like you that when it get’s larger, I get a little busy and tend not to be able to visit or relax. I’m busy running around making sure drinks are poured and everyone has what they need. For outdoor parties I don’t mind larger groups. I do family style and we can mingle. For formal I prefer it a bit more intimate. i’m hoping when I hit lotto to buy the house I live in and hire a chef (I love to cook) to do all the hard stuff so I can buzz around and have fun.
I’m with you, I love the cooking—it’s the actual serving that can make you crazy. I’ve hosted a couple of showers and hired a serving lady…one in particular is amazing, but not cheap! So meanwhile, since I love entertaining my friends in our home I’ll work on the serving part so that I don’t grow weary of such fun!
Linda Coble said:
Great dining rooms! I’ve always loved Ina Garten’s barn and house and her casual approach to entertaining. I’m with you on 6 being the ideal number to entertain. No one feels left out of the conversation and the cleanup isn’t too daunting. Now if either of us wins the lottery and we can afford to hire a cook and serving staff . . . who knows?
Ha, ha, yeah, if we win the lottery we can build a servants’ quarters and have help when we need it…yeah, that’s the ticket! 🙂
Six is my ideal number for a dinner party also, but I’ll never admit that to the NYE group!
I loved the dining room pictures you highlighted – all are so inviting and charming.
Ha, ha, that’s why I made sure I only complained about dinner parties of 12—didn’t want our NYE group to think I don’t enjoy 8!
Design Elements said:
wonderful images, Karen!
…and thank you for stopping by.
Jasper @ B & B Party Rental NJ said:
Depends on the visitors. Some of my friends like the informal setup, but there are some group that prefers the formal ones. I’d keep it in their preference although I do not ask them that!
Great pictures above btw!
I try to strike a balance with formal, informal but find most of the time my tablescapes are less formal. I’ll use my sterling but not my crystal or china but pottery instead.
Thanks for stopping by.