Party Time! Party Ideas You Have To Try This December
Buffet, barbecue or brunch – no matter what type of party you are throwing, keep these tricks and tips in mind to be an ace hostess and make your soiree the talk of the town…
The ground rules
- Take care in picking the right theme, that is, formal or informal as the décor, food, and dress code can reflect this.
- Be realistic and practical about whom you are inviting for what type of party. You cannot, for instance, invite elderly people for a buffet where they’ll be expected to balance their plates and a glass. Similarly, it will be inconvenient
- Issue some kind of written invite, even if it’s a gathering of really close friends. An SMS, clearly mentioning the date, time and venue, also suffices.
- Have variety – in terms of food, drinks and décor – but strike a balance rather than having a mish-mash.
- Have a well-stocked bar – vodka, rum (white & dark), wine, whiskey, beer. Also stock soda, cold water, juices, aerated drinks and basic garnishes such as lemon slices and tinned cherries. The key to choosing wine for your dinner party is to have white wine for white meats and red wine for red meats.
- Be realistic about what you can cook. Remember, you can make something easy, very good and something hard, very bad.
- Add foods to the menu which you can prepare before the dinner party or foods that won’t keep you in the kitchen for most of the night; after all, you can’t play host or hostess from there.
- Make a checklist and get everything ready down to the last detail beforehand, so you are not distracted or running to the kitchen frequently.
- The ambience is critical – think neat homes, clean bathrooms, great lighting and fragrance to set the tone. Pets, especially dogs, should be out of the way.
- It is vital for you to enjoy the party – people come to your house to meet you – your mood will set the mood of the party!
- For a nice touch why not include a little memento for your guest to take home after the party. It can be something as cost-effective and yet thoughtful as an indoor air-purifying plant! Or even a couple of aroma candles. The options are endless
The Best Buffet
The best part of this party format is that it requires only a few dishes for serving and eating. It is a godsend for a working person who does not have time to organise a formal dinner party. It is also an easy solution for a couple without a formal dining room, for anyone living in a small apartment, or for those gregarious souls who know more people than their dining table can comfortably accommodate. The buffet is also, by its nature, informal, which most people are comfortable with.
- Set a limit on how many people you need to invite. Crowded rooms and sitting areas make balancing a plate and a glass uncomfortable.
- If there’s room, a floral centrepiece gives an attractive touch.
- Use the largest dinner plates you have. This makes it more comfortable for the guests to heap their food and saves them additional trips to the table.
- If the group is large, place the table in the middle of the room so two lines can go around it simultaneously.
- Buffet menus should be carefully thought out well ahead of time. Food that requires a knife should not be served at a buffet. Dishes that are runny should be avoided at all costs.
- Circulate. Ensure everyone’s had enough, but don’t overdo it. Offer second helpings but don’t force them down people’s throats.
A Crackling Barbecue Party
Winters are a great time to have great outdoor parties – whether it is to laze in the sun, or around a sizzling bonfire or grill on a chilly evening. Hosting a barbecue party is always the best way to spend time outdoors.
- Check on the necessary equipment to hold a barbecue. This includes a grill, charcoal, tongs, spatula, apron and also a fire-extinguisher (just in case).
- Make sure that your grill is dependable and versatile enough to handle the possible high demands. This is pretty easy nowadays with a wide choice of barbecue grills available in the market. Still, it would help a lot if you know your requirements and you choose your unit according to your needs. It’s important to choose one with varied features that make grilling and roasting easy. Look for features like a charcoal bag holder which keeps the unused charcoal dry even in rainy weather, or, a glossy grill top that makes cleaning quite easy and fast so that any dirt or mess can be quickly wiped off.
- Ensure that the venue of the BBQ is clean and tidy. The grass should be watered, and also mowed if needed. There should be sufficient napkins, plates, spoons, forks and knives.
- While some people may prefer to stand around or sit on the ground and eat, not everyone finds it very comfortable. So do set out chairs and tables.
- Keeping sunscreen or mosquito repellant cream handy for your guests will make your guests feel special.
- Ensure that there’s a variety of food at the BBQ party for everyone – salads, chicken, fish, veggies and yes, even fruit can be grilled to make savoury desserts! A good idea is to suggest guests bring one item – veg or non-veg – that they would like to grill. Keep a variety of marinades ready.
- Thoroughly scrub down and oil your grill before beginning your dessert. The last thing you want is for your peaches to smell and taste like hot dogs or whatever you last cooked.
- Add zing to the BBQ with music. Decorate the venue with candles and lamps when it gets dark.