How to Host
An At-Home Date
Our simple tips for hosting an easy, but impressive at-home date.

So you forgot to make reservations at their favorite restaurant…not the end of the world. One alternative some of us seldom consider is to host dinner from the comfort of your own home. Sure, it requires a little effort, but a lovely evening in your living room doesn’t require a house call from Mario Batali. Check out our tips for hosting an easy, albeit impressive date at-home, including all of the necessary apparatus you’ll need on-hand.

 Emblem Brass & Copper Candlesticks, $85-$180

Set The Mood

Before your special guest arrives, be sure to properly set the mood. Dimmable lamp, check. Candle light, check. Spotify playlist of ’90s R&B slow jams, check.

Create a centerpiece for the dining table with an arrangement of candle holders of varying heights. You could also add one or two bud vases, each holding a sprig of cut flowers.

 IC High Table Lamp, $625–$675

If you’re feeling extra ambitious, scatter candles on the windowsills, mantles and countertops (preferably in glass votives, to prevent any potential hazards). If not, rely on a few dimmable lamps for a little extra light. If your ceiling lights aren’t already equipped with a dimmer switch, most floor or table lamps can easily be converted with a halogen bulb and a plug-in version.

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 Essence Champagne Glasses, $40

The Aperitif

Don’t jump straight into the main event. Ease into the meal with a light and effervescent cocktail, otherwise known as an aperitif.

It can be a simple as a glass of rosé or sparkling wine, but we prefer to mix it up with a Campari Spritz, Pimm’s Cup or an Americano Cocktail. The dry, bubbly beverage is intended to awaken your appetite, but don’t spoil the main course with an over-indulgent appetizer.

Keep it simple with a small antipasti assortment or cheese sampling—no cooking required. Just make sure small bites are properly presented on a serving board or wood tray.

 Oak & Leather Serving Board, $100

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The Main Course

If you’re no master in the kitchen, find a recipe that’s easy to prepare, but highlights a few high-quality ingredients. Nothing says “I care” like some shaved truffle, Spanish Saffron, or freshly-foraged chanterelles.

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 Danish Black Fluted Dinnerware, $45-$125

Setting The Table

No matter what you end up deciding for the menu, food is only half the battle. A good meal is as much about presentation as it is about taste. For a proper date, you’ll need quality dinnerware for two, including a nice set of main dish plates, flatware and table linens. But don’t go overboard and stage something just for show. In other words, if you’re not serving salad, put away the extra fork.

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