Five Party Ideas To Show You’re The Host With The Most
Even people who love going to parties have to admit that they can sometimes be a little, well, underwhelming. The food might not be quite what they were hoping for, the music could have been chosen by the host’s kids, or even their parents, and the conversation could turn out to be a little less than sparkling.
But there are some sure-fire ways to make sure that guests have the kind of night that they’ll be talking about for a long time and most of them include giving the night some kind of theme. In all of these examples, it’s going to be a question of keeping the numbers down to about twelve people or fewer – but that’s going to mean everyone gets to know each other just a little bit better.
A Deep South-style barbecue
Barbecues are fine. But even the most dedicated devotee has to admit that the repetitive menu of sausages, burgers and steaks with a potato salad and garlic bread on the side can get to be a little repetitive. So a great way to liven up the occasion is to hold a barbecue based on the sorts of recipes you’ll find in the Deep Southern States of America. There’s great rivalry between different states, and even different counties, about the best marinades for the ribs and other cuts of pork that are going to be cooked low and slow.
So do a bit of research and decide which one you’re going to go for. Then lay on sides like corn cobs grilled over charcoal, corn bread and traditional catsup. And don’t forget the marshmallows to grill for dessert.
A poker night
Poker’s a game that almost anyone can play, once they’ve got to grips with the values of the hands – and that makes it the perfect focus for the night. Summon up the spirit of Las Vegas by serving cocktails with pretzels and other snacks brought to the table as you play. Talking about the poker table, if you can’t get hold of a proper one for the night, then any table covered with green baize or other material will do just fine. If there are enough people you could even have two tables on the go at the same time.
You can also get official sets of poker cards and poker chips pretty easily and cheaply and these help to give the night an authentic feel. It’s up to the host whether people play for money or just for the fun of it. Either way, it’s sure to be a blast.
Who wouldn’t like to be a Hercules Poirot or a Miss Marple given half the chance? That’s one of the joys of a murder-mystery evening. You can buy these games from plenty of websites and they contain the plot for the evening and rough character sketches of all the players involved. It’s simply a case of choosing the right number of friends for the particular murder-mystery story and casting them accordingly. The fun comes not just from having to guess the identity of the murderer, but also getting into the theme. These can range from the classic country house party with mysterious butlers and lady dowagers to “Murder on the Orient Express”-style scenarios. Again, this gives plenty of opportunities to create a themed menu and serve the appropriate drinks too.
Après Ski Night
Even people who go on skiing holidays only to discover that hurtling down a mountain with no real idea of how to stop at the bottom isn’t their idea of fun do agree on one thing: the après ski is great.
It’s simple to create the atmosphere at home, especially when the weather outside has become a little colder. Light up the fire, or wood burner, and make plenty of glühwein for the guests. For the food it has to be a fondue or a cheese raclette with a chocolate fondue for dessert.
Make sure that there’s also plenty of schnapps for people to enjoy and have some traditional oompah music, or even a little yodelling, in the background, and everyone will be transported into an alpine paradise – especially if there’s some fake snow on the windows.
Anyone who’s ever seen Mike Leigh’s 1977 play will know exactly how perfectly it captures British suburbia in the decade that brought us both disco and punk rock. Throwing your own Abigail’s party is also the perfect excuse to recreate the 1970s in all of its cheesy glory. Guests will have to scour the charity shops to find suitably outrageous flares and maxi dresses as well as to search out those gold medallions for the men and dangly earrings for the ladies.
To eat – pineapple and cheese on sticks, of course as well as a boeuf bourguignon or just a 70s-style buffet. To drink – a sweet vermouth or Mateus Rosé wine or even a Lambrusco or two. And on the stereo (or Spotify, in actual fact) it has to be a medley of ABBA, Demis Roussos and Barry White. Hopefully, the evening will go far better than the one in the play did – and that will definitely be up to the host.
So there you have them. Five great ideas for a party with a difference. They’ll all be fun in very different ways, and they’re sure to earn plenty of return invitations.