Whether you’re hosting a house full or just want to invite a few close friends and family round to see in the New Year, we’ve gathered our tips on how to be well prepared for entertaining guests.
Set the mood
Set the tone of your party as soon as your guests enter your home with the right scents, lighting and music. If you’re going for a relaxed evening, create a playlist of easy-going music from the decades to ease people in and cater to all tastes, and set the lighting to soft and ambient with lamps and candlelight. Candles can also double up to create a calming scent to complement the mood, with sweet scents or vanilla and cinnamon creating a cosy, relaxed feel. For a more vibrant and energetic evening, create a playlist of upbeat and happy party classics, and keep the lighting bright to keep energy levels up.
To make life easier for yourself and to make sure you get a chance to enjoy the evening when it’s underway, prepare as much as you can in advance. If you’re hosting a large group, opt for an relaxed sharing feast with food options that can be prepared in advance to save you slaving away over the food all evening.
If you’re having a more intimate gathering and want to prepare a sit-down meal, opt for a dish you’ve cooked before so you feel confident in preparing it, and try to do as much preparation the day before or earlier in the day of the party to ensure you get to spend more time with your guests on the night.
Ask guests to collaborate
Take some of the pressure off yourself by asking your guests to contribute something. This could be anything from bringing their own alcohol to suggesting songs for the playlist, or preparing some food to add to the feast. Or why not ask every guest to come armed with a cocktail recipe that everyone can try?
Plan some easy-going entertainment
Once the drink is flowing, it’s likely your guests will entertain themselves and the night will get easily underway. However, it’s always good to plan some entertainment to help the party and along and make sure no-one feels bored. Why not have the option of games and entertainment, such as having karaoke set up in the lounge or some fun guessing games like ‘Who am I?’ or charades to get everyone at the party engaging with each other, but without it feeling like forced fun.
Set an alarm for 11:45pm
It’s the most important part of the evening, the countdown to midnight and the welcoming of the New Year. But when you’re wrapped up in the party spirit, it’s easy to lose track of time! To make sure you’re prepared for the big moment and have plenty of time to gather everyone around to count in the New Year, set an alarm for 11:45pm so you have 15 minutes to prepare.