The resurgence of dinner parties

Dinner party

In the last few years, news articles have repeated a theme that the dinner party is dead. Various explanations have been offered for the dinner party’s demise, from frenetic schedules to the trend toward casualness to social media. However, recent encouraging articles and interesting new websites lead me to believe that the dinner party is making a comeback.

A frequently repeated reason for the decline of dinner parties is the daunting amount of work it takes to plan, organize, and prepare for the meal. That’s where new websites like The Dinner Set come into play. That site offers planning services for its members, including a function to help choose dates based on your friends’ responses to an emailed invitation. The site also offers “inspiration” including menu ideas and recipes, which is available even if you don’t join. Other sites (ahem, like this one) also make it easy to organize recipes and plan a meal.

The rise of social media, where people can catch up with friends at any time of day, has also shouldered blame for the decline in dinner parties. What do you have left to discuss after reading everyone’s tweets? But even there, the pendulum may be swinging back in the other direction. The rise of cocktail culture, spurred in large part by social media, has prompted people to find a venue in which to share the cocktails. Dinner parties fit the bill perfectly. And who doesn’t want to have an occasion to use all of those great ideas from Pinterest?

What do you think – are dinner parties are making a comeback? 

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  • FJT  on  November 5, 2014

    I didn't realise that dinner parties weren't the thing until I moved to the US last year … whereupon we were invited to a succession of pot lucks. I like to have a decent conversation and great food, so pot lucks just aren't my thing (I'm sure some people host pot lucks where people actually cook real food, but that hasn't been my experience and I have celiac disease so I have been so limited in what I could actually eat at these events).

    Recently I've been enjoying inviting our American friends round for proper dinner parties – I'm really hoping the idea catches on, although none of them quite understand yet that I don't want them to bring a dish (sigh).

  • adrienneyoung  on  November 5, 2014

    I must have been living under a rock all my life. Fortunately, it was a rock under which my betters and elders threw a lot of great dinner parties! So I've always assumed it was still the norm. And a fun norm, too! 🙂

  • hillsboroks  on  November 5, 2014

    I think I must have been under that same rock with adrienneyoung. We have done dinner parties with friends, neighbors and family for years and everyone seems to enjoy them. Our adult children now take pride in hosting dinner parties for their friends.

  • veronicafrance  on  November 6, 2014

    I don't think I'd want to spend an evening with someone who thought tweets were an effective substitute for conversation.

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