Dining at the table is not the only way to entertain guests. The cold buffet allows more people to be invited, and at the same time it is a less official form of meeting. You can also combine a traditional meal with a cold buffet. Guests then sit at small tables, but the food is on the buffet and everyone comes up, to handle. Alternatively, the guests come to the buffet, helping oneself with starters and dessert, and the main meal, hot, the service gives them, also dealing with plate change. So there are different variants, and their choice depends on the number of guests.
Where to set the buffet? It must be easily accessible, against the wall and as close as possible to the door leading to the kitchen or room, in which trays of ptifura await, sandwiches and utensils.
The length of the buffet depends on the number of guests (16 meters per 300 people, 6 meters per 100 people), but you can too, depending on the size of the room, set two smaller buffets.
Preparation of dishes. In general, we resort to the help of a person who specializes in arranging the menu and preparing various small cookies and sandwiches. We also entrust her with the delivery of drinks and service (on 300 guests 7 service people and 1 supervising person). If you have to, we also rent a person to run a cloakroom (Let us return to the role of the caretaker for a moment, which in France, very often he takes on this kind of duty, of course – for a fee; it's worth pointing out, that the lobbies of elegant houses in big cities make it possible to arrange a cloakroom at the exit, on the ground floor of the building). You should allow about two hours to prepare the buffet, hour – for cleaning. A person who is professionally involved in organizing parties can also get the appropriate flowers.
Number of ptifuras – both sweet cookies, how salty, we determine depending on the planned duration of the party – We can organize a cocktail between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm or between 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm – age of guests and, of course, financial resources, what we allocate for this purpose. Modest, a two-hour cocktail requires twelve pieces per person (the proportion is constant – 2/3 salty and 1/3 sweet).
If the cocktail lasts longer, requires more variety (about eighteen pieces). It should be served raw, peeled vegetables (carrot, radish, selery, cauliflowers…), stacked meat and ham cubes, which stick on sticks. Waiters can walk around the hall with platters of hot snacks, which will prevent the formation of crowds at the buffets. Fruit juices should be among the drinks, alcohols, champagne, according to the financial resources and age of the guests. They are generally paid for according to consumption, and the bottles, which have not been opened, is picked up by the party organizing party. Lots of organizers, also hotels and restaurants, which rent a room and provide service at the same time, charges a fee, if the champagne is supplied by another company or the customer himself. Then we also pay only for open bottles.
The housewife can of course host guests at home and take care of some of the preparations, thus reducing the cost of the party. Then he prepares cold meats for a longer cocktail, Salads, cakes, which will complement the range of finger foods and ptifurs. Stock up on a sufficient number of plates and cutlery, set tables and chairs, so that guests can find a comfortable place. If it is impossible, you should serve dishes prepared as in a restaurant or ordered – suitable for eating while standing, without the use of cutlery.
The lady of the house takes care of the interior design by herself – arranges flowers, also these, which he will receive from the guests, prepare enough ashtrays.
Guests serve themselves. Politeness commands, not to rush to the buffet. To prevent its rapid devastation, service, usually experienced, systematically replenishes the contents of the platters. Guests arriving late are therefore properly stocked, impressive table. And remember, that an abundant buffet is the basis of a successful evening, and unused supplies will please the household members or someone from the host's environment the next day.
Dinner with bridge, dinner after evening at the theater. Such an evening plan requires a specific formula, for the meal is not its basic part. If we invite guests to bridge, tray with corks, peanuts, crackers and drinks should hit the table between two batches, a light cold meal (or a dish, which we can heat up without any problems) – in the middle or at the end of a meeting. Supper, which we eat after a theater performance, it should also be light – soup with cream served cold, smoked salmon and a glass of champagne will satisfy the guests and will be the most appropriate at late hour. In such situations, the lady of the house must show imagination, composing an original meal, which does not require last-minute preparation and does not force her to keep checking the kitchen.