After years of disruption, restaurant dining is roaring back to life in Sydney. At the Public Dining Room, we’re once again hosting weddings, birthday celebrations, dinner parties, and much more, so you can enjoy the moments that matter in style - and gastronomic delight!

But in these COVID times, keeping your plans for a fun evening out with friends and family can be difficult. So it’s important to know that while you may not be able to enjoy all the luxuries of restaurant dining at home, you can still create an unforgettable experience for your guests. Here’s how to do it.

Set the stage

The hallmark of great restaurant dining is the ambience. No matter what kind of home you live in, whether it be a custom home or multi-residential home, there are steps you can take to replicate PDR’s special atmosphere in your very own dining room.

First, you’ll want to dress up your space. If you’re going for a PDR-inspired coastal theme, then a crisp, white linen tablecloth accented with delicate table decorations, like fairy lights or candles, will help you establish a warm and intimate setting.

Your selection of lighting and music will also set the tone for the dining experience. Make sure that both of these elements complement each other and your broader vision for the evening. For example, natural lighting and acoustic music will create a romantic and relaxed atmosphere; bright lighting and pop music, on the other hand, lends itself to a buzzier ambience.

Other, smaller details to consider include chairs and seating arrangements, flatware, glassware, and placemats.

Serve delicious food and drinks

No dining experience is complete without a well-rounded menu. When planning your menu, you’ll want to take into account any dietary restrictions your guests may have, as well as things like cooking time.

To help you find the right dishes, think about what meals you enjoy at your favourite restaurants. If you’re wanting to recreate the PDR experience, go with locally sourced ingredients and make sure to focus on plating up.

Every restaurant-goer knows that where there’s good food, there’s also good wine! You’ll want to choose a wine that pairs nicely with your menu. If you’re serving salty food, perhaps you’ll select a sweet, ambrosial wine; for light meats like chicken or fish, choose an acidic, zesty wine; or for lamb or steak, go with rich, oaky wine.

Luckily, at PDR we have an online wine shop, so you can attend to all your wine needs in one place. With perfect food and drinks, you can turn any night-in into a luxurious fine dining experience.

Make your guests feel special

At PDR, our customer service is what truly makes our dining experience world-class. We strive to ensure that all our guests have a magical time with us, from the moment they step through the door.

When hosting your own dining event, you’ll want to create this same experience for your guests and make them feel special and taken care of.

To this end, you could design handwritten invitations for the event, encourage your guests to dress up, prepare a few games or activities, or ask your guests to make a playlist. These are just some ways you can help your guests feel comfortable and settled as soon as they enter your home.

If you can’t make it to our restaurant for whatever reason, the next best thing is to replicate our dining experience at home. By taking the time to plan ahead and create a special atmosphere, you can make your event one remember.

A huge thank you to our guest blogger; Keely Tzoukos, from Hale Corp for her wonderful piece on entertaining at home.