Added to Basket

A Guide to Fine Dining: Everything you need to host the perfect formal dinner

02 Nov 22

When planning an elaborate formal dinner, it can be difficult to know where to start, as the list of things that need to be done can become endless. Whether it is the venue, food, entertainment, or facilities, there is so much that has to be considered if you want to put on a dinner that your guests are sure to remember.

Here at Allens Catering Equipment & Furniture Hire, we have helped a variety of clients to create beautiful fine dining experiences with our vast catalogue of products and industry expertise. That’s why we have compiled a quick and easy guide, so that you don’t forget a thing when it comes to planning your own formal dinner, whatever the occasion. From finding the perfect caterer to creating an atmosphere, we’ve missed nothing when it comes to this fine dining guide.

Planning your dinner

When should you begin planning your dinner?

If you are organising a formal dinner with venue sorted, you will need time to plan out exactly what you need as well as provide your guests with enough notice to RSVP. For this reason, it is best to start planning your dinner over a month in advance, with invites sent out around this time too, however this has flexibility depending on the size and scale of your event. 

Find the perfect caterer

How to find the perfect caterer?

By far the most important part of the night will be the food, which is why it is vital that you leave yourself time if you need to find the right caterer and have a tasting to make sure it is up to standard. There are online directories that can recommend caterers who would be a good fit for your evening, and once you have found someone suitable you might want to see what they would recommend as well as if they are able to produce any dishes you particularly want.

If you are planning a fine dining experience, sometimes your caterer will require specific kitchen equipment and appliances that your venue may not have. If this is the case, your caterer will either bring the necessary equipment with them or they may want you to supply it for them. At Allens Hire, we have a great range of kitchen appliances, accessories, and display equipment so that you can create stunning dishes your guests will love.

Table Settings

Table Settings

Making sure that your event looks the part is almost just as important as the food, especially if you want to create a fine dining experience. It is the first thing your guests will see when they enter the venue and so it is vital that you make a good first impression.

From sourcing high quality linen tablecloths and napkins to beautiful silverware, an elegant table setting is a simple but effective way to create a sophisticated atmosphere and elevate the guest’s evening. At Allens, you can find china, glassware, cutlery, and linens in a variety of styles and colour palettes to match whatever décor you have planned, as well as additional supplies such as candlesticks and tableware to add the final touch.  You’ll find at Allens that we have lots of products made by leading designers and manufacturers sure to impress discerning fine diners.



If you are planning a fine dining experience then it’s important that you don’t forget a single thing, including who will serve your guests each course. Hiring professional servers adds a touch of class to any evening, as well as proving to your guests that you are going the extra mile. It ensures that each course arrives on time and the table is cleared from empty plates, so that the evening goes as smoothly as possible.

At Allens Hire, we have a selection of products to make sure that your servers look the part and that this dinner feels like a fine dining experience. We have waiter’s gloves, waist aprons, and cloths all available to hire for your next event, so why not browse our catalogue?

Have your guests in mind

Have your guests in mind

Of course, making sure that your dinner accommodates for guests with special dietary requirements and needs should be something you think carefully about.

In order to throw a successful fine dining experience, you should make sure that there is an option for guests to stipulate any dietary needs or allergies in their RSVP. This provides you the information you need to plan for quantities of vegetarian or vegan meals along with some alternative gluten free or other options to suit.

Why choose Allens Hire?

Over the years, here at Allens Catering Equipment and Furniture Hire, we have built a reputation for excellent customer service and expert advice, so why not contact our team today and they will be on hand to help you with whatever you might need. We can answer any questions you might have about your order, as well as provide you with quotes and recommendations for other products we think could add that extra special touch you’re looking for.

With our help you can create a fine dining experience that your guests will never forget, so why not browse our catalogue and see how we can help you today.