Miss Your Friends? Why Not Host a Virtual Dinner Party
Is there anything better than a great dinner party? Preparing a nice meal, matched with excellent wine and the company of good friends.
Technology has really stepped up to the virtual plate in recent weeks, changing how we communicate with our work colleagues, family and friends.
Need some inspiration to catch up with your friends online? Consider hosting a Virtual Dinner Party with your best buddies. Whether your friends live around the corner or overseas, this is a great way for you to all share a meal together online and have something fun to talk about in the process. And the big bonus of virtual dinner parties? No uber fees and your bed is in the next room!
Invite Your Friends
Keep the guest list small, as it can very quickly get out of hand when you have 10+ people speaking all at once. Three or four is a manageable number.
Put together a formal invitation to send to your guests. We never get anything exciting in the mail anymore, so consider posting them a formal invite (you have time, right?). Make sure you include all the important info including:
- Date and time to log on
- Platform instructions (where are you meeting)
- Dress code
- What to prepare
Be sure to include any other details or items they will need to prepare ahead of time.
Image by The Spruce / Lara Antal
Choose Your Platform
There are plenty of free, video conferencing options out there, so choose one that works for you all. HouseParty is great for conferencing from a phone or tablet. FaceTime is good for Apple users, Skype can be used on any device, or WhatsApp is another easy option.
Keep in mind any time zone differences. If you are conferencing with your friends in Melbourne, it will be an early dinner for you! Or if it is someone overseas, try and tea up a time that can work for everyone (brunch for some, dinner for others etc).
What’s on the Menu?
The menu is what sets this apart, from just another online chat. Spend some time planning a menu all your friends can make at the same time. Send them the recipe with your invite and what wine you will be drinking, so you can all discuss together. Check out some of our quarantine recipes for inspiration!
If your friends have different meal requirements (gluten free, vegan etc), maybe get everyone to choose a meal from their favourite cookbook to make and discuss, or get inspired by MasterChef and everyone cook something from the last episode!
Consider sending your friends a care package with the dinner essentials, so you can all cook together. Maybe send them the wine and pasta sauce, or even a complete hamper with all the essentials. The Mumma Mia Hamper is great, as it has all the essentials to make a great pasta (complete with utensils and wine!).
If cooking isn’t your thing, get everyone to order take away from the same place, or similar cuisine. Many of our favourite restaurants are offering home delivery at the moment, so a great way to help your favourite local restaurant get through the next few months.
We don’t know about you, but it has been a while since we got dressed up… for anything. So, let’s do this right and get dressed, with shoes and everything! Add the dress code to your invite so everyone gets into the spirit of the virtual dinner party.
Set the Scene
Grab your candelabra and the good dinner wear to style your dinner table. This will help you get into the spirit of the dinner party and it is fun to see how your friends style their own tables. Consider what is in the background of your video too, we have seen one too many inappropriate images (or scantily clad people) pop up in the background of video conferences in the last few weeks!
You can share your Spotify playlist with your guests, via a link, so everyone is listening to the same music, at the same time. This will also help to avoid any confusing background noise.
What are you going to do after dinner? Usually, you might bust out a board game or watch a movie. Here are our top suggestions for virtual dinner party entertainment:
These online games are a great option for a virtual dinner party, as they can be played online, with plenty of different options to choose from.
Play a game of virtual poker on an app such as PokerFace. These have a video conference feature so you can see your friend’s faces when you win all their virtual money.
Image: Poker Face
You even play some of these old school games, such as:
- Boggle – game owner can display the grid so everyone can jot down their words.
- Cards Against Humanity – you just need everyone to have their own deck to play.
- Scattergories – To play virtually, the game owner can share a list of the categories with other players, pop it in your group chat. Then, that person can roll the die to determine the letter and everyone can brainstorm individually on a piece of paper.
- Trivial Pursuit –one person is going to have to oversee moving the pieces around the board, but the rest will be easy to play virtually.
After Dinner Movie
Break out the popcorn and watch a movie together! Netflix has launched Netflix Party, so you can now synchronize your movie watching, it even has a group chat function so you can discuss during the movie.
Don’t have Netflix? That’s just weird.
Stay Together, Apart
Whether your practising self-isolation or just wanting to catch up with long-distance friends, hosting a virtual dinner party is a great way to have some fun and stay connected. Check out some of our foodie hampers to help you prepare your next virtual dinner feast.