By Naomi Crisanteon 18th Nov 2013 11:00
It’s the party season and let me tell you, no one loves planning a party more than this girl!
There are several steps I go through when planning a party, whether it’s a casual get together or a big life event.
My first step is to decide on a theme. Now if it’s a New Year’s Eve party, for example, it could be a bold flashy theme like Hollywood or 1950s rock n roll, but if it’s a casual barbeque then I might settle on a cuisine theme, such as Mediterranean or Middle Eastern food. This then allows me to plan the invitations, menu and setting accordingly.
For stand up events, I like to break the ice with tasty pass arounds and a glass of bubbles. A beautifully presented antipasto platter with an array of Mediterranean delights always goes down well or perhaps crisp bruschetta with a zesty topping or maybe a range of tapas style dishes such as marinated mushrooms or Spanish-style pintxos.
Even for a sit down dinner, sharing a platter of food is a very connecting experience for diners. I favour this to serving individual plates of starters.
If it’s buffet style, then I stick to finger food, fork food and big platters of food. I always include an enormous cheese platter as this always looks great on the table as a centrepiece.
For a big party, I make sure to set up the food, drink and dance spaces in different areas to avoid bottlenecks. Fresh flowers and candles add to the mood and I think about the music, lighting and provide some seating but not too much as I want people to mingle. Small tables dotted around the room are essential for putting down drinks as I find people always congregate around both the bar and the furniture!
Most importantly, the key to a great party is a relaxed host, so I try to be as organised as possible ahead of time by setting the room up a day or two before, enlisting help, planning my menu, shopping in advance and choosing dishes that I can create ahead of time so I can enjoy myself too!