This Is How To Host A Gourmet Dining Experience In Lockdown
After 9 weeks in lockdown, quizzes and jigsaws are due an upgrade to something more like a fabulous gourmet meal. One where we swap pajamas for partywear, pour the wine, turn the music up and tuck into something truly decadent.
In this list, I’ll show you a night you won’t be able to wait for. A Michelin(ish) restaurant experience at home – with a menu, mood, music and props to match.
After a little prep, some candles and a bit of imagination, it’ll all be worth it – and you’ll always remember that time you had a night out, in.
Step 1 Set the scene
Think of what’s on the menu, and set your table to match. If a perfectly seared steak is on the cards, you might opt for a Parisian bistro vibe. Or pair a vibrant mezze of dips and grilled meats with bright Moroccan-themed lanterns and brightly coloured tableware. Feel free to shift furniture around too, so it feels less like you’re, you know, at home.
Step 2 Decorate your space
No need to go over the top here. The key is to make sure everything’s in place before the night begins. Everyone looks better by candlelight, so add warm, cosy glow and a restaurant atmosphere by dimming those lights.
Prepare a Spotify playlist beforehand, so you’ll have your favourite laidback tunes playing throughout. Here’s one put together for us by Paloma Faith herself.
Step 3 Choose the menu
There’s a lot to think about when cooking a gourmet meal! If you’re cooking rather than ordering in, here’s my best advice: Keep it simple. Great taste and ingredient quality always win over complicated, finicky dishes. For vegetarians, this oozy, Creamy Italian Burrata & Confit Tomato Tart is sure to make jaws drop and mouths water. Or to impress without stress, a 21-Day Aged Fillet Steak with Chips & Peppercorn Sauce is a crowd pleaser that’s hard to beat (and it’s on the menu until 15 June). Here’s our Senior Recipe Developer Jordan Moore’s tips on how to sear a fillet steak to perfection.
Step 4 Dress the part
Who else misses dressing up? Getting ready is one of the best parts of going out. This restaurant experience is your chance to dig out your ‘real clothes’, fling off your slippers and scrub up good. Wear something that makes you feel great, add a bit of glitz and remember to take some photos.
Step 5 Don’t stress
The golden rule of entertaining? Relax.
You deserve a night off too. So instead of trying to make everything perfect, just make sure you’re having a good time. One great tip is, if you’re cooking dinner, take it easy with the dessert. Our favourite shortcuts for this are Hot Chocolate Soufflés from Gü Puds that deliciously rich, and ready in 12 minutes.
Because as long as you’re having fun, you’ll make memories that last.
Need more recipe inspiration for your gourmet night in? Try more rich, elevated flavours like our Pesto Salmon en Croûte with Creamed Spinach & Crushed New Potatoes, Roasted Duck Leg with Braised Red Cabbage & Dauphinoise Potatoes and more from the Gousto Cookbook.