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Digital Subscriptions > delicious. Magazine > December 2018 > THE delicious. PARTY GUIDE

THE delicious. PARTY GUIDE

Classic cocktails, booze-free drinks and how much of everything to serve
PHOTOGRAPHS: ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES

THE ART OF THE PARTY

Throwing a good party should be enormous fun – for your guests and for you – says bon viveur and delicious. columnist Kay Plunkett-Hogge. Here’s her timetested and trusted expert advice to help everything go with a swing

PLANNING

This is what it all comes down to. The more you can prepare ahead, the easier your party will be. For a start, you’ll be more relaxed and so will your friends. The problem is that so many of us suffer from performance anxiety when it comes to entertaining, and we shouldn’t. Everyone you’ve invited is meant to be a friend, so what can go wrong?

MY GOLDEN RULES OF PARTY-GIVING

I don’t want to state the obvious, but you’d be amazed how many stressful moments can be avoided with a little forethought – not least about the guest list…

• If it’s a party to welcome your new boss, it’s going to be a very different affair from the one that marks the start of the football season. Extreme comparisons I know, but you get the drift.

• Don’t invite two feuding ex-lovers, especially to a smaller affair. Likewise, don’t include anyone you know who, God forbid, is a mean drunk. Bigger parties have fewer issues, as everyone can mix and mingle with less chance of ruffling feathers.

• Unless you intend to hire extra help, I wouldn’t advise going much above the 25-30 guest mark at home. You want to be able to enjoy yourself rather than plan a full-scale military exercise.

• Enlist friends and family to help out: most people love to be useful.

• Regardless of the occasion, make sure you invite your guests in a timely fashion. I don’t mean posting official embossed cards months before the event, but three weeks’ notice is good. It gives you time to get organised, too. If you want to have a dress code, make sure your guests know in advance to avoid any embarrassment. Ask about dietary needs or allergies.

• Will people be driving? While your guests’ sobriety is not (entirely) your responsibility, I think it’s a courtesy to make sure there’s a solid nonalcoholic alternative if you know people are coming by car. And do supply phone numbers for local taxi firms.

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About delicious. Magazine

Make Christmas and New Year your best ever with the December issue of delicious. magazine. Festive shopping’s a breeze with our last-minute gifts, one-stop drinks advice and best-buys taste test. You’ll also find Michel Roux’s brunch, Gill Meller’s goose with black pudding, Matt Tebbutt’s soy-braised pork and a beautiful pie from Calum Franklin. Fancy a lie in on the big day? Try our all-in-one-tray lunch or make-ahead turkey dinner. With Gaz Oakley’s vegan feast, Brontë Aurell’s Scandi classics, brilliant yuletide bakes and our panto recipe special, this is the only magazine you’ll need this year. And don’t miss our extra cocktail desserts collection, plus you could win a luxury cruise for 2019. Here’s to a delicious. Christmas!