How to host the perfect winter dinner party. Picture: Supplied
Winter has arrived and it’s time to take group dining to the next level – indoors, and seated.

Before sending yourself in a jus-inspired panic, take heed of the following 5 points for the perfect winter dinner-party:

Create the mood

Getting your guests into a relaxed and happy state is half the job done when it comes to hosting dinner parties, especially in winter.

Ditch the harsh lighting in favour of soft lighting, lamps and candles will do the trick to help create a softer look that emulates warmth and homely comfort.

Nibbles for the win

Many people "save themselves for dinner", by having a small lunch in anticipation of a bigger indulgence later.

To stave off starvation, have a selection of snacks ready.

A delicious array of olives, breadsticks, a selection of light cheeses and maybe a sliver of parma ham is spot on for this kind of occasion. It’s enough to keep your guests' appetites intact until dinner is ready.

I f Instagram has taught us anything, it’s that chucking food on a plate does not make for a good impression. Picture: A Gorman Photography
Plan ahead

Be realistic with yourself, if shopping and creating isn’t in your portfolio of talents, opt for the helping hand of a dinner-kit delivery service.

Most boxes might only come packed for a maximum of 4 people, but two boxes sort an 8-person dinner out in a flash.

All the ingredients are delivered ahead of schedule, ready to go with instructions.

The Yang for your Ying

No meal is complete without the perfect accompaniment of wine.

Carefully selecting the perfect wine to compliment your meal is as important as the meal itself.

Should your guests not be drinking, a sparkling water will do fine, but for those who are you should have a good bottle chilled and/or breathing.

Presentation is key

If Instagram has taught us anything, it’s that chucking food on a plate does not make for a good impression.

Take time to carefully plan and plate your meals.

Opt for serveware that is out of the ordinary, a slate tile, an interestingly shaped wooden platter or even the pan itself.

Think out of the box and don’t forget to garnish with a fresh herb or dollop of something delicious.