A guide to throwing a French dinner party

A guide to throwing a French dinner party

A French-themed party is the perfect choice if you want to create something chic and elegant for your guests. Fabulous wine, wonderful music and delicious food served in a traditional café setting will help make this party truly memorable.

Add a bit of joie de vivre to your invitations

Why not incorporate a little bit of the French language – as well as other nice Gallic touches – into your invitations, or menus? Just by substituting “appetisers” for “hors d’oeuvre”, you will add some subtle French touches.

As French is widely considered to a romantic language, this theme is particularly appropriate for anniversaries, engagement parties, or for Valentine’s Day. You may already be aware of “l’amour” as the French word for love. Remember to use French forms of address in all place cards; “Mademoiselle”, “Madame”, or “Monsieur”.

For something a little different, you could create invitations in the style of Air France boarding passes, with mock information including the name of the ‘passenger’, their ‘gate’, ‘flight and ‘seat’.french dinner party 2


French music is very distinctive. While there are many French classical composers, mostly in the Romantic style, France is also very much associated with cabaret and chanson.

Go to your local library or simply visit the iTunes websites for compilations of French music. Here are a few popular singers to get you started:

  • Edith Piaf
  • Charles Aznavour
  • Georges Brassens
  • Francis Cabrel
  • Cafe de Paris – CD


While music sets the mood, your choice of food will allow you to add touches of authenticity to your French-style party. Croissants and quiches are a good choice for brunch, while baguettes and brie are wonderful appetisers. For dinner, coq au vin is a popular choice.

However, if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, you can easily find recipes for French foods online. For dessert, Éclairs and Crème Brûlée will finish the meal off in style. For drinks, of course it would be rude to overlook a bottle of fine French Vin so we recommend checking out this French Wine Map from BelleFrance which will help you select the perfect bottle to compliment your dishes. You can also wow your guests with some information about how and where the wine was produced.


Décor is perhaps the most important part of your ability to carry off your French theme – or any theme for that matter. Using well-known French landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower, or even images of southern vineyards, won’t fail to give you the required visual elements for your French theme.

You could also include the works of French artists, such as Matisse, Monet, Rousseau, or Cezanne for a truly traditional feel.