The following information about shopping in the great city of Toronto is provided by children's clothing retailer Hunter & Shaye - look at clothing designs here

One of the things that Torontonians look forward to at the end of the work week is having their friends over for dinner parties. With so much of Toronto's real estate leaning toward the luxury end and so many people packed into a small area, it's easy for friends to come over and admire your new home as well as your cooking skills. If you're thinking of hosting dinner parties in your new home or condo, here's some advice on making it a memorable experience.

Obviously in cold or rainy weather, you'll want to serve dinner inside, so look for a home that has a formal dining room. If you and your friends like to eat outdoors in the summer, find a ground floor condo or a unit with a large enough balcony that it will accommodate one of the patio sets at Ikea Toronto. To keep your event from getting unwieldy, limit the number of guests to the number of chairs you have at your table and the amount of food you can comfortably cook without having to hire out for help. If your guest list exceeds six people, you may want to get some help with preparing the food, either from a friend or a caterer.

When you're deciding on your dinner menu, don't forget to take into account the dietary restrictions of your guests. Don't despair if your meal has to be gluten free or vegan, as most will tell you there are many small shops and stalls that sell specialty food ingredients specifically for unusual dishes. For recipes, you can use the internet or pick up some library copies of magazines like Good Housekeeping or Chatelaine, which always publish recipes for unusual and exotic dishes.

If you're having an evening dinner party, give yourself the entire afternoon to prepare, especially if there's a lot of chopping or slow roasting to do. Whenever meat is on the menu, always make sure to have a thermometer for food testing. Undercooking your meat is a surefire way to make a negatively memorable meal (as your guests could get food poisoning) and overcooking it will make it dry and unpleasant to eat. Use Canada's food safety guides to find the recommended internal temperatures for various types of meat. And finally, time your cooking so that the food is piping hot and ready to be served right when your guests arrive!

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