I love dinner parties. Wait, let me rephrase that. I love dinner parties if I get to do them in my own way. Think along the lines of glitters, costumes, smoke effects and great people.
Every now and then Joran and I organise a themed dinner party together. Just before I left to Asia (yeah, it’s a while ago, but I hadn’t gotten around to post it yet), we invited a couple of friends and had a wonderful dinner party with the theme ‘Magically coloured childhood memories’. In case you would love to organise such a night yourself as well, here are a couple of pointers to get you started.
1. Send paper invites.
“Joran, I think I may have done something that will make some of our friend hate us,” I say with a guilty but also somewhat proud grin. “I may have added some glitters in the colour of the invitation to each envelope.” “Ohhhh, that’s absolutely perfect!” And that response is why I love him.
Receiving fun paper mail is the best. To make your guests feel excited, send your invitations not by email but my mail. In the paper invites that we sent to our guests, we mentioned one theme colour for the dinner party. We asked them to bring a dish in theme and also dress up in theme. What they didn’t know was that everyone got a custom invitation, each printed in a different colour. So in fact we would have every colour of the rainbow represented during the dinner party.
Let your invitation set the bar for what you want your dinner party to be. Even if they are utterly ugly with bright clashing colours, people will appreciate the fact that you went through the effort to send them some good old mail.
2. Decorate your living room with toys.
If you look closely at the first picture, you can see that the shelves that normally hold books and grown-up objects (like a coffee bean grinder & travel artifacts), now hold Sesame Street & cartoon characters, a spinning top, a plastic cassette radio and many more childhood toys. You want your guests to come in and go: ‘Ohhh, I remember that!’. Not only does it set the right atmosphere for your theme dinner, it also serves as an ice-breaker to talk about (we try to invite people who don’t know each other yet).
3. Incorporate childhood games
I folded these little paper thingies (not sure what to call them in English, neither in Dutch actually). I am sure that you are familiar with them though. I used to fold them as a kid. You let someone pick a number, and then they have to answer the written question. Anyway, so I folded one for every guest and asked everyone to write down some childhood-related questions. As the dinner progressed, we played the game and asked each other questions about childhood memories. It’s a great way to get to know people better, have fun, and direct the conversation to playful subjects.
4. Spike your childhood drinks
I don’t know about you, but every Dutch child remembers Wicky fruit drinks from their childhood. Either they brought it to school themselves, or their friends did. Imagine drinking the same thing, only a slightly adjusted version (pour some juice out and vodka in). The funniest moment is when people start drinking and then suddenly realise this drink might be a little bit stronger than what they can recall.
5. Cook something you would have loved as a kid
Now is the time to do whatever you want or what you perhaps didn’t get a chance at eating when you were a child.
I never got a rainbow cake as a kid, but I know for certain that I would have loved it. This dinner was my first try at baking a giant rainbow layered cake, which served as inspiration to bake a mini rainbow cake recently. Think wild: eat with your hands, create pirate food, add edible glitter and food-colouring. Then delight in your creations.
6. Be creative and come up with your own fun ideas!
Of course there are countless ways to organise a magically coloured childhood memories dinner. These guidelines are just to get your creative juices flowing. The real fun begins when you start making it your own.
Our guests did an awesome job at this. One guest brought pink ‘snorkel-soup’ for example, based on the Belgium cartoon series ‘De Snorkels’, which was presented in snorkel-bowls to the theme song of the cartoon.
Go wild! It’s you party and you can do it in any way you want to.
So, are you planning any dinner parties any time soon? Any fun ideas you would like to share with me?