Hosting a Caribbean Party

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 17 September 2019 | 0 Comments

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17 September 2019

Entertaining Caribbean style
Few dinner dates or leisurely lunch parties enjoy the luxury of sunny, blue skies and the sound of a gentle surf crashing in the distance. Entertaining in your Caribbean home is all about sensory pleasure: delectable food served in a beautiful setting with the only distraction the lullaby pulsations of steel drums.

Depending on the style of your group, and the time of day they are arriving, you can choose to make this a serene, tropical dinner or a hot, hot, hot island lunch.

Choose a setting that will relax your guests and offer them maximum comfort. Plan this in advance so that you can check on the position of the sun to be sure that guests aren’t exposed to searing heat without shade.  If you are hosting multiple tables, create a table plan using table names that reflect the Caribbean – such as spices, fruits, local cocktails or musicians.  Mix your guests into unfamiliar groups to encourage new friendships and introductions. To break the ice, suggest your guests tell the person next to them little known fact about themselves – mid-way through the courses, it may be fun to ask your tables what they have learned about their fellow diners!

First, consider the menu and the availability of the local produce in season.
  • Plan the music, will you opt for a CD with natural surf sounds in the background or book a local Calypso singer?
  • Play around with themes for the event: coastal decorations can work really well with seashell-filled glass vases as centre pieces, raffia-tied linen napkins and natural fabric placemats.
  • Create mini menus for your guests: again these can be decorated with tiny sea shells.
  • Decide if you are cooking yourself, or if you will be hiring a chef or a BBQ master.
  • You can keep the coastal theme for wine glass charms too.
  • Create a playlist of higher tempo reggae and steel drum band music as the soundtrack for after the lunch or dinner – if your guests want to seriously party, at least you are prepared!

Sample 5 course lunch menu

Hibiscus infused Champagne cocktail and shrimp canapes


Gourmet surf and turf (fillet steak with fresh lobster)

Mango sorbet

Chocolate pots with rum and chilli

Sample 7 course dinner menu

Guava margaritas


Fresh lobster with Champagne sauce

Trio of jerk chicken

Hibiscus sorbet

Coconut ice cream with chocolate rum sauce

Blue Mountain coffee with handmade chocolates 


Top Tips for Hosting a Great Party
  • Make a Plan: Enter time frames, budgetary considerations, possible suppliers and recommendations. Now is the time to opt for asit-down dinner or decide on a small cocktail party instead.
  • Create YOUR Menu. Consider yourself first. What do you like? Include it! This is chance for your guests to get know more about you.
  • Now Think of Others: Consider who you have invited and what their needs are. Any allergies? What fresh produce is in season in the Caribbean.
  • Take time on the details, or work with a party planner to help you. It’s the little things that often leave a lasting impression with party guests.
  • Be relaxed and hospitable. Be sure to have the time to spend time with your guests.

Be sure thank everyone for coming, not when they leave but mid-way through the courses – find an excuse to raise a toast.