Ideas for the perfect cocktail party
Four steps to a do with a difference
As the year comes to a close and we start announcing our best intentions for the next one, it's time for one last blow-out bash. With the three vital ingredients in mind – that’s drinks, decorations and really good company – this is our guide to hosting the best New Year’s yet.
If you’ve got a crowd-pleasing playlist, a bottle opener and bag of ice in the freezer, you’re off to a great start. Glassware should be at the top of your checklist, too - wine glasses are often the first to run out, so make sure to stock up.
If a sit down dinner isn’t your style (and guests will welcome a break from festive feasting), showcase small bites on generous serve ware – it’ll set the mood for sharing. On the day, move furniture to the edge of the room and make use of any extra chairs or places to perch.
Decking the halls
Don’t despair over the Christmas tree – festive decorations won’t jar so soon after the big day. For the rest of the room, a simple metallic scheme will set the mood for celebration - think gold for glamour, silver for sophistication and copper for something a little unexpected.
Sparkling streamers, balloons and party favours have plenty of appeal beyond kids’ parties if you forgo the primary colours, so stock up on all things shiny. A celebratory cake makes a fabulous centrepiece – we love the idea of decorating it to resemble a clock face in honour of the countdown.
Setting a mood
Consider the entrance as your first opportunity to impress your guests. Follow the route they’ll take inside - from the front garden and through the hallway - with a line of twinkling fairy lights. From there, designate a drop zone to save guests from clutching their coats all night.
Candlelight feels warm and welcoming, so try lighting artfully arranged groups of dinner or pillar candles (just keep flames away from the action). And finally, remember that music is the ultimate mood-setter, so choose wisely – and be sure to notify (or invite) the neighbours.
DIYing your drinks
Somewhere between ‘student house party’ and ‘full waitress service’ lies the happiest medium – we’re big fans of the dedicated drinks station. A home bar with rows of sparkling glasses is such a crowd-pleaser and enables guests to help themselves, freeing up your time for all-important mingling.
The wow-factor is determined by the details, so think about easy add-ins like salt, lime wedges and olives on cocktail sticks. Prosecco won’t be questioned come the big countdown, but if you’re set on champers and your budget’s not complying, try mixing into cocktails to make the most of your supply.