By Graham Addinall for the Autumn Winter 2017 magazine
WHEN IT’S COLD OUT THERE, IT’S TEMPTING TO HUNKER DOWN AND FORGET YOUR SOCIAL LIFE FOR THE WINTER MONTHS, STAYING IN AND BINGE-WATCHING NETFLIX RATHER THAN MAKE THE EFFORT TO GO TO BARS OR RESTAURANTS. BUT WHAT ABOUT MAKING EVERYONE COME TO YOU INSTEAD? THROW A GREAT PARTY AND STAY IN THE COMFORT AND WARMTH OF YOUR OWN HOME, WHILST THEY HAVE TO DEAL WITH PUBLIC TRANSPORT, SNOW STORMS AND OUTERWEAR …
Obviously the party has to be good enough to attract all your friends and acquaintances, but on the other hand you don’t want to stress out either, so follow these few tips for a perfect get-together:
- Spontaneity is great on paper but there’s nothing worse than calling round to say you’re doing something this weekend and finding out everyone has plans. Do a ‘save the date’ message a bit in advance, but then make them wait and guess what you’ll be doing.
- Fancy dress can be a bit of a nightmare – you don’t want to be the only person dressed as a tomato in a room full of Darth Vaders and Snow Whites. But sometimes a theme can be fun to give it all a bit of focus. Think broad; ideas like Wig Party, All Pink, What We Wore 10 Years Ago etc. Be creative but not obsessive. If someone doesn’t join in, it’s their loss – not yours.
- Surprise everyone with some kind of event or performance. Ask around your more talented friends and acquaintances and see if anyone can do a bit of torch singing, fire-eating, burlesque dancing or go-go dancing. If you really move in the right circles, getting Beyonce to jump out of a cake and sing would really earn you brownie-points.
- Get someone to photograph everyone as they arrive and then give a copy of the photo as a memento. It gives people their red carpet moment and something to remember the event by if they have one too many cocktails.
- Let the bar be DIY – you should be mingling and sparkling, not being wait staff. Maybe greet guests with a cocktail (you know we love a gin tonic here at Bruun and Stengade!) and then leave them to it. If it’s a good strong one they might not notice the lack of waiter service.
- Food at a party is great but don’t go mad. It’s heart breaking to spend hours making Noma-style canapés, only to have them wolfed down in seconds by drunken friends. Do easy stuff like hotdogs, pizza or a buffet that you prepare in advance. And get caterers in, you’ll wish you had done it after baking the tenth tray of vol-au-vents the night before …
- Plan your music in advance and make a playlist. Start with slow jazzy or moody stuff (Leonard Cohen is maybe a little tooooo downbeat) then gradually crank it up until you’re in full Kylie/ABBA/Village People-mode. Talking of which – remember to warn the neighbours!