Planning a casual dinner party for friends can feel like a high-stakes moment, especially when you bring together different circles of friends for the first time. But Toronto-based content creator Sasha Mei proves it doesn't have to be the case. Recently, her co-founder Amy Yu and her supper club Yu + Mei hosted their first sit-down party to honour the inspiring ladies in their lives for March’s women's month, Complete with a colorful spring-ready tablescape (by yours truly) and endless plates of homemade pasta and dessert, and it went off without a hitch.

“One ice breaker I love that my friend introduced me to was getting everyone to say their names and their favourite way to cook or eat a potato (or any ingredient, for that matter),” says Sasha. “It's so random and silly, and wonderful if people don't all know each other. It's also an excellent way to get inspired by new recipes!”

Looking for more tips on how to plan a stand-out (and memorable!) dinner party your friends will love? Scroll down for Sasha’s top tips. 

Keep the theme simple.

“The food and conversation is what matters most. I want people to feel loved when they come to one of our dinners, and adding too much fluff makes things feel impersonal.”

Prep as much as you can leading up to an event (and be well caffeinated!).

“Hosting requires a lot of energy and you have lots of moving parts to manage: food prep, welcoming guests, keeping up conversation–I can't think about any of these if I'm not well-fuelled.”

Dress in a chic and comfortable outfit.

“I love hosting in a loose dress or skirt that lets me eat as much as I want and move comfortably! Oh, and ballet flats for comfort and style.”

Write a handwritten note for guests.

“We love a personal touch and it's such a heartwarming gesture. This is the thing that our guests remember (in addition to the food, of course!), and leaves them feeling warm and fuzzy.”

Add colorful candles (and candleholders) to make the table pop.

“The patterned Primary candles and candleholders are certainly not something you see every day. They add a unique touch and turn something sophisticated into something simultaneously playful.”


Photography by Vanessa Cassar

April 17, 2023 — Renée Tse