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A table for 8

We took over the 'Christmas feast duty' a few years ago, so hosting dinner for a truckload of people has kind of become our specialty. It can be stressy to make sure everybody is eating great food in a warm and welcoming setting, but by trial and error this now comes naturally to us. One thing's for sure: every detail matters, whether it'd be jazzy music, dimming the lights or beautiful tableware to put the side dishes in.

As of last December, our cooking and hosting skills aren't reserved for our family only anymore, as we've been hosting a table for 16 people twice each month. By doing this, our guests can eat great and healthy homemade food while meeting new people in a home-y atmosphere (literally: it's organized in my - Chloé's - home!) As we've gathered lots of experience by regularly organizing this kind of evenings, we'd like to share our best tips to host a dinner for more people than you're used to. That was our main inspiration to style our Ethnicraft table for 8 with the Pomax tableware, anyway.

Prepare yourself!

We've made peace with the fact that people just love to walk into the kitchen for a chat, especially if it's an open kitchen or if you've been in there for a tiny bit too long. Nothing can be more stressful than having an impromtu visit of 10 people circulating around you in a messy kitchen, and serving them a glass of wine while trying to make sure nothing sticks to the pan. It goes without saying that preparation is key, so make sure everything's 'as ready as can be' before your guests arrive. You'll probably want to keep a few things for the last minute - like the appetizers for example; to keep them as fresh as possible - and that okay, as long as you already chop, cut, blend, stir or peel everything you need to immediately make the dish when everyone's there. Believe us: you'll gain precious time and be so much more relaxed as well! 

It's all in the details

You want your guests to feel at home, but you also want to give them a memorable night. That's why we think it's worth investing in a few 'hosting essentials', like cotton napkins for example, as it's those little luxuries that make all the difference. Also: why don't you use the family silverware, which is normally stored away to only use on special occasions (that mostly never come?) Ask your grandparents for their silver, we're sure they'll be happy to eat with it the next time you invite them over! 

Go over the scenario

It can be a bit overwhelming to have over 8 people arrive in your home, no matter how much you love hosting dinners. Make sure to go over the whole scenario in your head, to make sure you've anticipated every detail. An hour before our BK's Table guests arrive, we usually empty the cloakroom and store all the coats away in my bedroom. By doing this, we make sure our guests have a place to put their coats and - most importantly - don't start to leave them on other important spots, like the kitchen counter or the back of the sofa for instance! Anticipating will help to calm your nerves, but if things do go wrong: have a good laugh about it and go on with the other courses! People will remember the fun night they had, not every flavour they've tasted on their tongue. Good luck!

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Interior inspiration by Ethnicraft and Pomax.
Photography by Laura Willems.