How to host a large dinner party in a small space

Last November I threw a potluck Friendsgiving. What made it a little tricky (and very nerve-wracking up until) is that I share a one-bedroom apartment with a platonic friend where I live in the living room. I was worried that we wouldn't fit, or that we wouldn't be comfortable, or that the pole would get in the way, etc. Here's how I made it work…


Throw this party: The Pollinator

I'm throwing a party that I've named "The Pollinator." The basic idea is that I want to widen my social circle, so the price of admission is that every single attendee bring a guest that I either do not know or do not know well.


Let's talk about the raclette, retro step-sibling to the fondue pot

Last month, our friends, the hot architects brought their vintage raclette over to have dinner. (Yes, the same hot architects whose wedding I crashed last summer. They've become friends, and in fact we're hiring them to help us with our condo remodel). So, have you ever seen one of these things before? I had not. It's basically this portable double-decker hot plate, with these special little dishes you use to melt a shit load of cheese over veggies and/or meat. You then scrape the hot, oozing, deliciously cheese-greasy mess onto bread (or I guess just straight into your mouth).


Please use the OTHER guest bathroom

We have two bathrooms — both of which are equidistant from main gathering areas (kitchen and living room). Although both bathrooms are equally awesome, for some reason guests tend to head to the bathroom that we use! I would really prefer it if our bathroom stays off limits. How do I politely or subtly let guests know which bathroom I prefer them to use?