The lost art of dinner parties

Carina Pacheco ’23 is a history major and native of New Jersey. Her email is [email protected].

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own.

It feels like the days of collegiate dinner parties are long gone, having given way to… other methods of gathering, let’s say, that tend to include boisterous dance music and copious amounts of a specific grade of beverage. But dinner parties needn’t be a bore  there are a number of great ways to liven up your weeknights with friends without risking skipping class the next day. Potlucks, charcuterie and even multi-course meals can be economical, practical and fun  way more time-worthy and rewarding than staying up into the early hours of the morning and waking up achy, dehydrated and late for class.  

It’s about time upperclassmen start to take advantage of Williamsburg’s spacious rentals before time runs out and graduation sneaks up. Unlike apartments in Washington, D.C. or New York City, here in Williamsburg one can actually accomodate a dining room table without compromising the rest of the living area. And though we may all have our plights with the housing market for students in Williamsburg, the off-campus options are tenable and comfortable  for the most part. With a little effort, it’s easy to make your living spaces pleasant and inviting, and having friends over will make your house feel more like a home away from home.  

And for those students living on-campus, having a few friends over can be a breeze if you are making the most of the spaces you have access to. While first-year dorms may be tricky spots in terms of space, if you are lucky enough to live in a building with a roomy lounge you will have even more options in terms of what you can make and serve, and how many friends can join in.  

The most intimidating part of dinner parties has to be the actual dinner. Do you have to cook? Bake? Assemble? Not necessarily  with a good eye, a little bargain-hunting and some teamwork, “dinner” can transcend its meaning from identical plates of expertly cooked food to a huge grazing table, where all guests can grab whatever they like. This takes the pressure off the host to provide all the options, allows each guest to contribute a dish or drink and authorizes everyone involved to stress less about the logistics and better enjoy the food and company.  

Additionally, a dinner party can be anything! Special occasion, no occasion, theme or no theme  there are countless reasons to get a group together any time of the year or week. There can be a movie involved, a favorite weekly television show or everyone gets together “just because.” There’s no need for fancy hors d’oeuvres, elegant dinnerware or expensive bottles of wine  that is, if you’re over 21. No matter what you are choosing to have, there’s truly nothing like sitting around a table with good friends.  

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