As one of London’s top party catering teams, we know a thing or two about planning the best parties.
As the holiday season gets into full swing it’s time to dust off your party frocks, stock up on some bubbles and fill those dark evenings with festive cheer(s)!
Big or small, we love a good party, and we’ve thrown some pretty epic ones in our time. Our Head of Events at Pitzhanger, Chanel, is a bit of a party (planning) animal, so here are her top tips for throwing a real good party.
- Plan, plan, plan. Start with a list, who doesn’t love a list? Consider things like; how many guests you’ll invite, your timings, and what the vibe will be (disco dancing or evening soiree?)
- Food. well fed guests will always be happy guests, so make sure that your food fits in with anything else you have planned. You could opt for a canape and drinks reception, or sit down to a lovely dinner before the party really kicks off. If you’re having an event that’s likely to go on to the wee hours think about organising a late night snack. Our truffle and cheese toasties always go down a treat!
- Drinks. What kind of drinks will you serve? Champagne or prosecco? Wine and beer, or spirits and cocktails? All of the above? We’re loving English wines at Social Pantry, see our blog here from a recent visit we had to Nyetimber’s vineyard. When you are thinking about how much booze to buy, remember a bottle of wine holds 4 large glasses, and bubbles hold 6. Why not start your evening with a gorgeous glass of English Sparkling Wine, then move onto wine, beer or cocktails?
- Timing is key. If you ask people to arrive at 6pm they’ll expect dinner, 8pm- they will have already eaten. Ask your guests for their dietary requirements in advance, and think about a menu that caters for everyone.It goes without saying that we can work with you to create a bespoke menu that fits your theme and budget.
- Venue. At home? Send your guests travel instructions or a nice little map. If you are venturing out to a venue (there really are so many in London), we work in some great ones, have a look here. My favourite venue at the moment is Pitzhanger Manor, it’s got great transport links into Central London and has just been restored to its former grandeur. Filled with beautiful stained-glass windows and ornate hand painted wall-paper, Pitzhanger has a range of spaces that work for parties of 20 or 200.
- Styling. Full on glitz or icy snow palace? You can find incredible pieces for styling your party all over the high street, but pick a theme and stick to it. You can nod to it with your menu and drinks too. Create a Pinterest board, and add all of your inspo pics. We create mood boards for our clients which really helps with visualising the overall feel, we can also organise hire of all styling for your event. Get in touch if you need help with creating a vibe!
- Activities. Will you dance the night away, sit down to a banquet dinner, or do you plan on getting everyone involved in a festive quiz? Some people live for organised fun, and some people hate it- keep this in mind, don’t force everyone into 15 rounds of charades! Think about your audience.
- Entertainment. When you send your invite ask your guests to reply with their favourite song, then create a playlist that mixes all of the eclectic tastes of your friends! You can share the playlist with the group afterwards too so that they’ll never forget the best night of their lives! If you’re hiring entertainment for the eve, think about what works in your space, and what your budget is. We’ve got loads of cool Rockstar’s on our books, so let us know if you’d like us to add this to the list!
Best of luck planning your parties, and if you’re in need of some help don’t hesitate to get in touch. Chanel and our expert team of Event Planners can’t wait to bring your plans to life, and that’s not just the food!