FOOD MUSIC & BEVERAGES
FOOD Without getting complicated you can create memorable snack options. Use creative display ideas and quirky container options – mini wraps in shot glasses, chopsticks used as skewers alternated with goats cheese, figs and basil leaves. Use seaweed to make food parcels with rice, sesame and avo fillings. Cover the tables with petals or sunflower shoots. Keep a good party going with creative and colourful sustenance. Depending on the time of day you might want to create an ambience with the type of food you prepare. Sushi might suit a cocktail environment while raw pizza with nut cheese may be more of a picnic idea. Be participative – get your guests to bring their favourite pizza toppings, you provide the bases. If you have more people than plates, skewers with colourful combinations of fresh produce mixed with different cheeses and pickles. Some with meat, some vegan and some fruit will cater for everyone and remove the need to have lots of plates.
Fondues are great fun for summer evenings outside. All you need is a few interesting sauces and chopped or sliced meat, vegetables or cheese. Halloumi is fantastic in a fondue – it crisps beautifully without melting into the pot. Mushrooms, peppers, even par-boiled baby potatoes work well and are always a hit. Make some home made whole grain as an accompaniment to your cheese fondue.
Tip: Use a healthy oil with a high smoking point to prevent trans fat formation.
Everyone has a favourite list of songs. Get your guests to bring their top ten songs to share. It’ll stimulate conversation when memories come flooding back of past parties or special times in life. Music has a momentous impact on mood – whether it lifts you up, grounds you, stirs memories or simply touches your soul. As Aldous Huxley said, “After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music”, and Frederick Nietzsche said that life without music would be a mistake.
Throwing a party can be expensive, but it’s no longer necessary fto provide absolutely everything. Ask your guests to bring what they’d like to drink, and just get the essentials that appeal to your group of friends. Keep a store of fresh cold water and loads of ice. Check you have enough glassware for all your guests’ drinks. Be consumer aware, tand rather borrow or hire glasses than buy more than you’ll need at other times of the year.
Tip: The key to good hosting is to have a great time. Even if throwing a party makes you nervous, the minute your first guest arrives, relax and to enjoy yourself. Rather than running around cleaning up – leave the mess for later.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
Being outside on a summer’s evening is definitely best. Move your dining table out in the open and dress it up in festive colours if you’re hosting a dinner. An eclectic mix of chairs will create an even more festive look, so alternate your outside chairs with the more formal dining chairs.
If it’s a more laid back, snack-food party and you don’t have enough chairs, drag your rugs, blankets, cushions and any soft surfaces to your entertainment area and create a Bedouin vibe for easy relaxation and casual conversation.