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Tips on how to host a French-themed Dinner Party

As we all get back to our post-pandemic social life, dinner parties are an inexpensive and intimate way to bring your friends together for a fun evening. With a million food options to choose from, France is a great theme for your next soiree. Think rustic shared plates and chic, simple table-wear rather than just baguettes and berets!

Read on for some of my top tips for hosting a French dinner party.

  1. Set the mood with music

Music sets the tone and is a great way to stay on theme. Whatever your French song picks, it should transport your guests to a 1960s Paris café, where you are sitting with your Pastis and croissants and watching the world go by…

Some of my choices for a French dinner party playlist:

I’ll Be Seeing You - Francoise Hardy and Iggy Pop

Soiree - Bill Evans

Zou Bisou Bisou - Gillian Hills

Les Eaux Des Mars - Stacey Kent

Si Tu Vois Ma Mère - Sidney Bechet

Comptine d’un autre été, l’apris-midi - Yann Tiersen

Bonnie and Clyde - Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot

Friday Night Saturday Morning - Nouvelle Vague

Quelqu’un m’a dit - Carla Bruni

Je saurais te retenir (Les amis) Feat. Alice Lewis & Alexander Chatelard - Le Sacre du Tympan & Fred Pallem

2. Create a romantic table setting

The key to a French-themed table setting is: less is more. Inside of over complicating your table with an elaborate centre piece, fancy candles and so on, keep it simple. Choose several beautiful big platters or serving dishes. Stick to 2 or 3 colours for your table scheme - preferably neutral, cool tones like black, grey or brown. Provide at least one big carafe of water so that your guests can help themselves through-out the night. Where-ever possible, use sharing plates to enhance the casual, informal feeling of the evening. A few simple tapered candles will add elegance and simplicity to your table.

3. Choose a signature drink for the evening

A themed cocktail can be a lot of a fun for your guests. Make sure it’s not a headache for your by having all your ingredients measured and ready on the side so that you can serve them all at the same time with no stress. Add some French flair with your glassware - why not a traditional champagne coupe or some beautiful vintage tumblers?

Some French cocktails Ideas:

A French 75 (lemon juice, gin, syrup, ice, chilled champagne)

Kir Royale (creme de mure, champagne)

French connection (amaretto and cognac)

Boulevardier (Campari, sweet vermouth, bourbon)

4. Wear a French-inspired outfit

How do you wear a French inspired outfit without a wardrobe of Chanel? French fashion is actually less about what you wear than how you wear it. Avoid trying out new trends and stick to something that makes you feel good to wear, is comfortable and still stylish. Think - a simple dress or pants and minimal jewellery. The less you feel self-conscious in your outfit, the more you can enjoy your evening and have a good time with your friends.


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