How To Host An NYE French Dinner Party

If you've never been to a French dinner party, you may consider it a formal event with expensive champagne and delicious food in beautiful Parisian apartments. Moreover, most French dinner parties aren't as elaborate, even though the French take great pride in their culinary traditions. The secret to hosting a French dinner party is to keep things simple. Visitors mingle and enjoy mouthwatering food and beverages as they truly appreciate each moment without rushing.

Hosting a French inspired dinner party is the best way to share French culture and cuisine with your loved ones while enjoying a meal together. Of course, you may incorporate French dining customs into your everyday life. Here is all the information you need to become an expert host and French chef if you're wondering how to throw your own French dinner party.

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French-Inspired Dinner Party Decor and Table Settings

You can make an elegant table arrangement that will amaze your guests with a few essential accents without being overly extravagant.

Choosing the Perfect Tablecloth

Start with a simple linen or cotton tablecloth. They come in neutral hues for a more traditional style or with vibrant colors and intriguing textures to liven up your dining table. You do not have to iron the tablecloth. The slightly wrinkled fabric gives the table setting a touch of French carelessness. This would result in an effortless but beautiful table setting.

Dinner Plates and Silverware Arrangement

Put your dinner plates and silverware on top next. Select a formal dinner dish to counterbalance the informality of the tablecloth. You can use the dishes you already have or purchase vintage ones from the flea market in your neighborhood. You can even arrange them based on different color combinations. Put the appropriate silverware next to each plate; this includes a fork on the left side, a knife on the right, and a spoon on the left.

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French Dinner Party Menu and New Year Food Traditions

In France, dinner parties are just as essential as the meal. Moreover, you wouldn't want your visitors to leave your home hungry. Therefore, planning mouthwatering French Christmas food is one of the trickiest aspects of throwing a French inspired dinner party.

The French dinner party menu includes the following items:

  • Champagne
  • Salmon
  • Oysters
  • Foie Gras with Toasted brioche or pain d’épice
  • Charcuterie board with fresh bread
  • Fine cheese course board, including blue cheese, goat cheese, soft cheese
  • Macarons, chocolates or small pastries

Revealing the Elements of a French Dinner Party

The typical structure of a French dinner party consists of the following: an aperitif, entrées (starters), the main dish, cheeses and lettuce salad, dessert, café, and digestif. Allowing ample time between each course helps you to relax. Remember to serve small amounts from your French dinner party menu, so guests may savor the entire evening. Moreover, make sure there is adequate food for everyone.

Creating a Delicious French New Year Food Menu

Love to cook? Next, plan a menu that you can prepare beforehand. Plan your “mise en place" ahead of time and use the party day to reheat, finish the cooking process and add the final touch to your delicious food before serving it to the guests. This will allow you to spend more time with them. If you are short on time, serve ready-made sides from a reputable local supplier or assemble using high-quality ingredients. 

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Wine Pairing Tips for a NYE Party

Food and wine pairing is crucial when hosting French dinner parties. French culture places a high value on wine, which is frequently served with meals.

Understanding the Diversity of French Wines

French wine has several colors, including rosé, white, and red. French wines are typically labeled with the name of the location in which they are produced, for example, Champagne, Bourgogne or Bordeaux.

Picking the ideal wine for your French dinner party menu involves a lot of considerations. It's essential to consider the kind of meal you're serving, the type of wine, and the cost.

Mastering the Temperature of White Wine and Rosé

If you're unsure, you can always get suggestions for a wine to serve from your neighborhood wine shop. Generally, red wine goes well with meat dishes and white wine with seafood dishes. Before serving, refrigerate champagne, white wine or rosé for at least a few hours! Serving it at the wrong temperature will not be enjoyable for you nor your guests. 

French Desserts to Delight Your Guests

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With numerous delectable options available, buying dessert from a nearby renowned French bakery is more common than making it yourself. Grab some sweets from your neighborhood bakery to wow your visitors. Choose between serving your guests a selection of little delicacies, such as macarons or madeleines, or going with a larger dessert that you can slice, like a cake or tart. If you are up to the challenge to bake it yourself, here are some classic French dessert ideas to prepare at home:

  • Cherry clafoutis
  • Fruit tart (with seasonal fruit)
  • Babas au rhum
  • Tarte tatin
  • Chocolate mousse
  • Vanilla crème brulée or crème caramel

Elevate French Dining with Coffee  (or tea “tisane”)

In France, coffee is offered as a distinct dish after dessert. But you are free to have coffee or “tisane” with dessert instead. Make a simple pot of tea, coffee, or espressos if you have an espresso machine. Coffee is served informally in the living room or at the table, much like the aperitif. You can serve chocolates, truffles, or other small treats. Dark chocolate works best since it brings out the flavor and scent of coffee.

Entertainment à la Française: Ideas for Music, Games, and More

traditionall french games

The French have a passion for art, culture, and entertainment. Include engaging games, well-chosen music, and other exciting events to bring a festive atmosphere to your French dinner party.

Infusing Art and Entertainment into Your French Dinner Party

Make a playlist with various jazz, modern songs, and French chansons. Consider hiring a small band to enjoy live music during the evening to entertain the night. Serve traditional French games to your guests, such as Boules or Pétanque, that you can serve in a particular area to enjoy between dishes.

Traditional French Games and Humorous Photo Booth

Think of adding a photo booth with accessories like berets, mustaches, and cutouts of the Eiffel Tower to create memorable pictures. Plan a countdown using the classic French countdown sequence of ten to one, and then have a lively performance of "La Marseillaise" or other joyful music as midnight approaches. Give out party goodies like noisemakers, hats, and confetti poppers to make the celebration more festive.

Moreover, you can always offer seasonal cocktails while you engage in a good conversation.

The Bottom Line - Elevate Your French Dinner Party

Cooking is one of the many things that make the French famous. Dinner gatherings may be casual yet sophisticated. French people have a particular way of planning dinner parties. These specific traditions revolve around dining and entertainment. Therefore, if you feel particularly festive, prepare your pre- and post-dinner cocktails and arrange the food and components. Your guests will leave the French inspired dinner party feeling happy, entertained and will be asking for more!!!

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