The Fool-proof

GUIDE TO Cock­tail Par­ties


Plan on par­ty­ing in this sea­son? Good news, it doesn’t have to be a mas­sive ef­fort. In just two hours, pull to­gether cock­tails and canapés, and dec­o­rate on a bud­get. The best part? Once your friends ar­rive, you won’t even need to step foot in the kitchen.

The idea of host­ing a gath­er­ing at your pad sounds fun … in the­ory, but when think­ing about all the pre-plan­ning and clean­ing you’ll have to do (most likely hun­gover, of course), well, it’s enough to make you want to pull the plug.

En­ter the busy-girl’s so­lu­tion to par­ties. Start­ing two hours be­fore your mates are due to ar­rive, deck out your home, and fol­low th­ese recipes in this ex­act or­der:

For a starry-night party feel, twin­kle lights are al­most non-ne­go­tiable, and are an in­ex­pen­sive way of dec­o­rat­ing. Fix re­mov­able hooks to your wall and drape the lights length­ways to give the ef­fect of fall­ing snowflakes.

Inky colours are on trend for party styling as they set the scene for a lux­u­ri­ous look. To com­ple­ment the theme, add flow­ers in rich berry tones for a dra­matic pop of colour. Pil­lar can­dles are a sim­ple way to add lu­mi­nos­ity with­out the brash­ness of over­head light­ing. For a cosy feel, go for darker colours like navy or black, at dif­fer­ent heights.

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