Winter Dinner Party Menu

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Breathing life and friendship into the cold winter months, today I’m sharing a Winter Dinner Party Menu, with all the details of a warm, cozy gathering for your next in-home dinner party!

Winter Dinner Party Menu

Since we’re in the middle of winter, and winter parties are all about the guests–you know, making the party cozy, fun, lively, with good conversation–we decided to set a bright, cheery table with red and white polka-dot napkins, and to ask our guests a few questions to keep the party light and fun.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

The sign of a successful dinner party isn’t necessarily a gourmet meal that is raved about, or the best wine, but rather, it’s the unapologetic lingering with a warm, let’s-stay-a-little-longer glow that comes from good conversation around the table.

It’s much cozier to stay in, share some drinks and good moments with friends, and save money from eating out at the same time. So considering this casually elegant four-course menu, a delicious backdrop for your next Winter Dinner Party, let’s get the party started!

Winter Dinner Party Menu

As the guests arrive with warm winter coats, greet them at the door with a glass of wine and a pair of slippers or wool socks. Start a fire, create a cozy atmosphere, and sit back and enjoy a warm night with friends.

Winter Dinner Party Menu


Using Courtly Check chargers, white Dollar Store plates, Q Squared Peony salad plates, I also added beautiful red heirloom water glasses, and Mikasa Chalkboard wine glasses.

For any season, I love to keep a stash of paper napkins on hand, this time going for the red and white polka dot pattern.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

Baby’s Breath flowers are perfect for a winter dinner party. They’re dried and they last for months, and add an element of soft beauty to the table.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

Cozy candles and fairy lights add the perfect amount of warmth to the wintry-white tablescape.

If you have extra, cover the chairs with soft blankets and fleece cushions, that the guests can use to wrap themselves with if it’s a little chilly.

Winter Dinner Party Menu


For great conversation, place in the center of the table these conversation starters! We love Pasta Time: A Dinner Party Game, with question sticks to get the table talking!

Here are some sample questions: A celebrity you’d like to have dinner with? Or, Describe a dream house you would love to own? Or, Tell us about your grandparents? Or, Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?

Winter Dinner Party Menu


As guests arrived, we greeted them with a glass of wine at the front door! We started the evening off with a simple salami appetizer and crackers to nosh on, that allowed us to linger for an hour and visit before we sat down to dinner.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

Showcasing some bounty of the season that pairs well with a delicious bacon-wrapped meat loaf recipe, I served a beautiful green salad, hot creamy fennel-potato gratin, a side of tarragon carrots, and a luscious chocolate cake for dessert.

Easy Salami Appetizer


Easy Salami Appetizer {RecipeGirl}

Winter Dinner Party Menu


Green Dinner Party Salad {RE}

Winter Dinner Party Menu


Bacon-Wrapped Meat Loaf {RE}

Winter Dinner Party Menu


Baby Carrots with Tarragon {RecipeGirl}

Fennel-Potato Gratin {RE}

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cake


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Cake {RecipeGirl}


Download a party playlist that sets the wintery stage the minute the guests arrive, with songs that are upbeat but not overstimulating, and with vocals that don’t distract guests from conversation. Think of music where there’s a little something for everyone: new, old, blues, electronic, rock, folk, French, Spanish, calm, jazz and soul to round out the evening.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

Winter dinner parties don’t have to be elaborate, but just need to be casual, cozy, and warm. That takes a lot of pressure off the hosts, and I’m all for that!

When is the last time you hosted a winter gathering in your home?

Sandy Coughlin

Meet The Author: Sandy Coughlin

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  • Jackie {The Beeroness} wrote:

    Beautiful party Sandy! And Lori, I LOVE the new look on your site 🙂

  • Recipegirl’s Mom wrote:

    What fun! And so beautiful too.

  • Barbara @ Barbara Bakes wrote:

    So many great tips in this post. I want to go to one of Sandy’s parties one day. 

  • Sandy @ RE wrote:

    So fun to host this Winter Dinner Party, Lori. Thanks for including me here. Denise, we fixed the link and you can now purchase the GAME. It’s a fun one … ENJOY!

  • Laura @ Laura’s Culinary Adventures wrote:

    What a fun table setting!

  • Denise wrote:

    Sorry to discover that the conversation sticks are no longer available ! Darn ! Sounds like a fun party though, and I’m giving it some thought !

  • Matea wrote:

    Thanks for the great tips! Loving that menu 🙂