Party season is upon us so whether you are hosting a Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year celebration, it is never too soon (or too late!) to plan something special. While the festivities may look a little different this year, some things never go out of style, like being a wonderful host. Our team knows a thing or two about hospitality, so we asked a few of our experts for their tips on making your party the one to remember.
Robin Whitehead, Buenos Aires Polo Club
I know it is a party but you can still be as pandemic friendly as possible! While it is inevitably going to be a masks-off scenario you can open windows and have hand sanitiser readily available, especially next to any kind of finger food. Shoes off at the door is always more hygienic, but let guests know in advance if you are doing this, people can be salty if they have crafted an outfit around their shoes. If it is a paper cup kind of party, leave pens out so people can write their name on their cups, if you are using proper glassware you can buy wine glass tags or even just tie different coloured ribbons – one for the stem of the glass and one for your wrist for when you have too much wine and forget what colour you were.
Rebecca Aiko, Crown Super Deluxe
Always invite a few good friends over early to help decant wine, mix cocktails and pad out the room before the rest of your guests arrive. It will also make it less awkward when that random “plus one” shows up right on the dot, you can palm them off onto one of your friends while you continue to get ready.
Hannah Kent, Guest Experience
Have a list of jobs people can do to help (which they cannot mess up!). Early birds always offer their assistance, and sometimes it can be stressful coming up with tasks. So keep a couple of simple jobs like opening wine bottles, buzzing guests in, offering sanitiser to people arriving and so on.
Brian Ferguson, Chôm Chôm
Music! I cannot tell you how much this changes the atmosphere in the room. If you are a music person I know it can be really tempting to try and educate your guests and share with them the music that you love. But I promise a party is not the right time to play your obscure concept album from start to finish, no matter how incredible it is. Just find a cheesy playlist that everyone likes, not just what you want to listen to.
Mina Ingram, Guest Experience
You can never have too much ice or toilet paper, so my top tip is always to have more ice than you think you need because as we all know, there is nothing worse than a lukewarm drink at the end of the night. I do not think I need to go into detail about stocking up on toilet paper…
Marinda Doppegieter, Guest Experience
You do not need to decorate the entire space but it is nice to put some effort into at least one high traffic area. Whether that is flickering candles on your dining table or bar, or even a beautiful wreath or flower arrangement at the doorway, these little touches make a gathering feel festive and special.
Jack Gonsalves, Carbone
Do as much preparation as you can the night before. You never know what will come up on the day that could leave you scrambling last minute. But, my most important tip is to relax. Nobody actually notices the small things you are sweating over, but everyone notices when the host is stressed, so have a glass of wine (or two) and remember to enjoy it, it is a party!
Need some music inspiration for your party? Check out We Got The Beat for five of our favourite Black Sheep Restaurants playlists.