4 Essentials That Will Make Your Holiday Dinner Party A Success

The Supper Club's founder Tamsin Lonsdale
The Supper Club’s founder Tamsin Lonsdale

The delightful pop of a bottle of champagne being opened. The cheerful clang of wine glasses toasting. The warm embrace of an old friend. The enticing scent of delicious food permeating the air. The lighting is low and romantic; the floral arrangements lush and beautiful. These are the sounds, sites, and smells of a dinner party in full swing. When everything comes together perfectly, the evening can feel magical. No one knows this more than Tamsin Lonsdale, the founder of The Supper Club, a members-only club that recently launched in San Francisco. Lonsdale is an expert at throwing magical dinner parties: she plans at least one meal a month and gathers together a fascinating group of movers and shakers. Since the holidays are practically upon us we reached out to Lonsdale to learn what makes her dinners so memorable. She believes there are four crucial factors to consider when putting together the ultimate dinner party. Here we break it down for you.

A group of guests at a Supper Club dinner at STK Meatpacking, Manhattan
A group of guests at a Supper Club dinner at STK Meatpacking, Manhattan

Photo Credit: Jakub Studios

The People

Lonsdale says “it’s always important to ensure a great mix of people around the table. When different worlds collide the most interesting conversations arise and new connections are formed.” Don’t be afraid to invite friends who don’t know each other. Select a guest list of different ages and people with distinct backgrounds and occupations. At The Supper Club dinners, there are always a good mix of guests—one recent dinner brought together the owner of several bars with a jewelry designer, marketing executive, and tech gate keeper.

Ram's Gate Winery is an ideal venue for a dinner party
Ram’s Gate Winery is an ideal venue for a dinner party

The Venue and Atmosphere

According to Lonsdale, “the more unique the space the better.  We’ve hosted incredible lunches on polo fields. Private homes and buzzy new restaurants are always preferable for our dinners parties. I always look for great background music and lighting. The more candles the better!” Comfortable seating around a communal table will spark conversation. Some restaurants we recommend? China Live, Park Tavern, and Spruce.

Oysters carbonara and the Garden-Party-cocktail at Leo's Oyster Bar
Oysters carbonara and the Garden-Party-cocktail at Leo’s Oyster Bar

Photo Credit: Aubrie Pick

The Food

It’s a dinner party, so the food should be satisfying and scrumptious. As Lonsdale puts it, “after all, we are a Supper Club and our members love food!” Remember it’s better to have too much food than too little, so plan accordingly.

A harpist performs at The Supper Club's recent Halloween party in Los Angeles
A harpist performs at The Supper Club’s recent Halloween party in Los Angeles

Photo Credit: SPF Studios

The Element of Surprise

Why not surprise your guests with something fabulous at some point during the evening? “We love to have a secret reveal at our dinner parties, usually during dessert, where one of the guests may stand up and perform on an electric violin, or a guest magician will do a special show,” Lonsdale says. “Anything that creates a memorable experience. We always try to include some extra special content, from art, fashion, and film to music and philanthropy.” Other ideas that will delight guests? A cocktail demonstration, opera singer, standup comedian, or tarot card reader.