This time of year always gets me so excited to host at my home. I think it is the coziness of Winter, the smell of wood burning fires and scented candles and maybe even a bit of Seasonal Affect Disorder urging us to be social. Whether it be a small gathering of friends for New Year's Eve, a festive brunch or a cocktail party we have taken our tried and true event planning tips and adjusted them to fit your needs.
Keep Food Simple
I'm Italian. I grew up with holidays adorned with an abundance of spreads including meats, cheeses, olives, dips, baguettes of French and focaccia bread, all served prior to sitting down for a dinner of more meat, more bread, pasta and if we were lucky they would throw in a vegetable.
Whether you are hosting a dinner party or a cocktail party with hors d'oeuvres, I recommend keeping it simple. Quality is always much better than quantity. Creating one or two antipasti boards satisfies everyone and displays beautifully.
Don't hesitate to layer and mix fruits with meats and cheeses, add some olives, truffle marcona almonds and roasted vegetables. Use Pinterest for inspiration on how to style your board and make sure to include food labels for your guests with dietary restrictions.
Be Strategic with your Guest List
The dreaded guest list- just as difficult for weddings as it is for hosting at home. Who do you invite? Where do you draw the line? Do you have to invite your second cousin once removed even though you can't stand him/her?
This is your party- you get to decide who is invited. Yet, be thoughtful with who is invited and who may get along. Always give your guests an option to bring a date or friend, especially if they aren't familiar with everyone at the party.
Serve one SIGNATURE cocktail
When deciding on your signature cocktail consider your audience. Keep the drink simple, perhaps something you can make in a batch. Last year I made a Rosé Sangria and it was a total hit and so easy to make. Avoid making your cocktail too sweet- that is when trouble starts! And when all else fails, make Old Fashions- heck who doesn't like an Old Fashion?
Tis the season for decorating and setting a mood. Dim your lights, light some beautifully aromatic candles, place greenery on your fireplace and the bar and make sure you have a playlist to fit the vibe you are going for!
Love, Kelsey & Danielle