An outdoor space is a luxury in a crowded city, but you can still be creative and plan a fantastic house party. This post covers some basic party ideas and top tips for entertaining guests at home.
You can use these suggestions for house parties, garden parties or parties in your penthouse flat in London.
It all starts with making your guests list and ensuring that you do not saturate the property until it over spills onto the streets, this will not score many points. It is best to limit the number of guests so that they can enjoy your attention and the full extent of your hospitality. Most of my clients begin with a champagne reception and serve a selection of quality canapes.
There was a house party which my band covered in Cheyne Walk and as the guests entered, they could enjoy the aroma of freshly baked pastry. The canapes were freshly made and well presented.
The waiters then served chilled champagne, which was timed to perfection. Many hosts and catering companies get the timing totally wrong as they prepare the arrival drinks too early to cope with the demand at the start of a party. The guests arrive and are served champagne or fruit punch which was poured 30 to 45 minutes earlier.
If you hire an experienced catering company, they will time this to perfection and clear the cartons before your guests arrive.
If your budget does not extend to having champagne, you could source a quality sparkling wine and ensure that it is served chilled. A good choice would be Reina Maria Cristina 2008.
Champagne should always be served in flutes, never in plastic glasses. It is also trendy to serve champagne in a wine glass and you can purchase cheaper champagne flutes from Ikea or any suitable supplier. Be sure to add ice to your shopping list as this is easily overlooked. The most successful parties have a manageable guest list and a continuous supply of drinks, quality food and entertainment. If you have enough space for a live ensemble, then this is an excellent treat for your guests. The experienced party bands are very efficient at providing this service and will ensure that the sound is fit for the purpose. Popular choices include jazz bands, string quartets, steel drum bands and mariachi bands.
A live act performing a couple of sets or just covering the reception drinks, will score many points and your guests will always remember such features from your party.
Most of my clients just want to have live music in the background during the reception drinks, at a volume that they can talk over. After the reception phase, the party then goes into overdrive with pulsating dance music. You could at this point remember to take random pictures on your smartphone or use a dedicated photographer throughout the party. Create a pin board for the images on Pinterest or post onto your Facebook page and, you are welcome to link back to this blog post to help anyone who is planning a house party.
One final thought for house parties in London, is to remember your neighbours and insert an etiquette line with the invitation. This could include anything which you would like guests to adhere to when visiting your home.