Looking for dinner party theme that looks far more intricate than it actually is? An all-in fondue fête fulfills hostess duties without over-the-top table settings or elaborate recipes. Whether in the form of a happy hour, a Sunday watch party (hello, Oscars!) or a cozy night in for the family, this set-up naturally invites interaction and participation — a recipe that truly brings everyone together!

Bring on the fondue burners and stir up a leisurely get-together with decadent beverages and bites.

THE TABLE

Fondue parties must be approachable to your guests, so a large central buffet is recommended for easy access to the dippers and fondue pots. A gold tablecloth instantly adds class (and catches the drips for easy clean-up!).

Scatter your two fondue pots and center a large wood board for dipping décor. Let the seasonal hues of the toppings grow your color palette — I especially love a pop of green pear or red strawberry for contrast.

Mini plates let guests build up their bites — no need to revisit the fondue station for each dip.

How (and Why) to Host a Fondue Party

Have two fondue pots — one at either end of the table — and place your dippers in the center.

How (and Why) to Host a Fondue Party

Mini plates allow guests to add several bites to their plate at a time.

Bring color to the table with brightly colored fruits.

Bring color to the table with brightly colored fruits.

THE FONDUE

Cheese Fondue

A white wine Gruyère fondue is the ultimate party-pleaser for any occasion. Balanced but not too overbearing, it’ll elevate a cocktail party or easily substitute the expected game night spinach dip.

How (and Why) to Host a Fondue Party

Not your average party dip …

Classic Gruyère Fondue

Cara Greenstein
This classic Gruyère fondue is creamy and delicious. Its deep, balanced flavor pairs perfectly with apples, hunks of bread, and bites of salami.
5 from 1 vote
Course Fondue
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds Gruyère cheese shredded
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 2/3 cup dry white wine

Instructions
 

  • Toss cheese and cornstarch together, and set aside. Bring wine to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in cheese mixture. Lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly in a figure-8 motion, until cheese is melted and the mixture thickens slightly, approx. 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Place a fondue pot in the middle of the table. Pour cheese mixture into the pot and place over a gentle heat source.
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!

Chocolate Fondue

If you’re not too tired of chocolate from Valentine’s Day, use your finest dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips for a velvety dessert display.

How (and Why) to Host a Fondue Party

Take a strawberry on a quick dip in the chocolate and enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Fondue

Cara Greenstein
This decadent chocolate fondue creates the perfect sweet bite.
5 from 1 vote
Course Fondue
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat cream over medium heat in a small saucepan until tiny bubbles begin to form. Turn heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth and fully incorporated.
  • Immediately transfer to a fondue pot heated at low or with a low flame, or serve straight from the pot.
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!

THE DIPPERS

Though a handful of ingredients are specific to cheese versus chocolate, it is extra fun to choose flexible ingredients that work with either recipe. For example, a Bing cherry is decadent when dipped in dark chocolate, but it also offers a tart foundation for melted cheese.

Get your guests excited by inviting them to bring their own creative dippers to the party: a grandmother’s famed pound cake recipe, prosciutto from the neighborhood butcher shop or a bowl of gourmet gummy candies left over from Valentine’s Day.

How (and Why) to Host a Fondue Party

Invite guests to bring their favorite dippers — sweet and savory!

How (and Why) to Host a Fondue Party

Select dipper options that could work with either cheese or chocolate, such as Bing cherries.

THE TAGS

Since a sit down set-up is not required for this affair, substitute traditional place cards with fondue dipper tags. Write each guest’s name on a wooden tag, and tie it with twine around the end of the stick. You’ll avoid confusion and create an instant sense of “place” for your party-goers.

How (and Why) to Host a Fondue Party

A simple yet thoughtful touch is to add name tags to the dipping sticks. It will make guests feel welcome as well as avoid confusion over whose stick is whose.

THE BEVERAGES

Follow a savory or sweet bite with a warm serving of mulled wine. Serve your nutmeg and cinnamon-infused sip in a copper mug with a stick of cinnamon.

And since every gathering is worth celebrating, bubbly is a refreshing accompaniment to a rich Gruyère. Pour Prosecco in elegant flutes and toast with friends and family to a fruitful February.

Serve mulled wine in copper cups

Serve your nutmeg and cinnamon-infused sip in a copper mug with a stick of cinnamon.

Bubbly is a refreshing accompaniment to a rich Gruyère.

Bubbly is a refreshing accompaniment to a rich Gruyère.

Thanks to Micki Martin Photography for today’s photography.

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