Private Parties

  • 40th’s are the new 21st’s

    Turning 40 is a huge milestone, some say life begins at 40 so why not embrace this notion and throw an extravagant party to make this important occasion memorable.

    Don’t take it too seriously; it is a great chance to be over the top with wacky ideas and a time to go big on the theming. Whether you make an entrance on a heliosphere, serve shot skis from an ice bar and cover Claridge’s ballroom with snow, or book a private performance by a world-class comedian, there are endless possibilities!

    When choosing your theme, think about the things you love whether it’s a special place where memories were forged or a film that has defined your life. Start with the most basic of concepts, a sliver of an idea, and run with it – before you know it you will have an array of unique ideas to really make your 40th as outstanding as it should be.

    Once you choose a party theme, the rest of the decision-making process becomes much simpler and lots of fun.

    We have found that 40th birthday parties are a time to be wild; find your inner child and don’t hold back. At a Wes Anderson-themed rave guests arrived to giant inflatable tentacles breaking out of the windows, and were greeted by Lobby Boys at The Grand Budapest Hotel. Guests could enjoy a warming curry whilst sat on the train in Darjeeling and by ducking through a Fantastic Mr Fox rabbit hole, they were immersed into a Life Aquatic scene.

     

    We love creating an environment full of secrets and surprises, giving a multi-dimensional and faceted experience, leaving guests walking away sharing their own narrative of the night.

    By in General, Private Parties
  • How To Choose a Great Band and a DJ

    How often do friends recommend a band or a DJ for your party, and you wonder whether they really know their stuff?

     

    In which case, your research needs to dig deeper, taking in the band’s videos on their website, and any YouTube footage you can find. Ironically, the worse the footage like a film on an iphone, the better you can tell what the band are like as you can tell by the reaction of the crowd whether they are truly rocking the room!

     

    For weddings, we recommend choosing a brilliant band who will play a range of well-known music. This isn’t the moment to bring out a newly formed band who play music no-one has heard of. Leave that for their gig, and instead pick a band who will have your dancefloor packed as all ages dance through the night.

     

    For a party band, you can take more of a risk with your choice, as generally there is smaller age range at parties, so you can be daring and go wild. Tying in the band with your theme works well. We have previously had a 13 year old rehearse for 6 weeks before her Bat Mitzvah with a professional dance troupe, performed immaculately to guests during dinner. Quite a performance!

     

     

    For a DJ, there’s less material online to give you direction, therefore we find it’s best to speak to the DJ over the phone to discuss what kind of music you like. Highlight the music you want to avoid but don’t give them a strict playlist, as the DJ needs to be able to read the crowd and bring more people onto the dancefloor. As one of our favourite DJ’s once quoted: “All killer, no filler!”.

     

    Music is key to any party, and you should use it to its best advantage to enhance the energy, so you will have a packed dancefloor, with your guests dancing all night.

     

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  • How to Choose the Perfect Party Venue

     

    Once you’ve decided to throw a party, the best place to start by having an idea of how many people you want to invite, as that will help you choose your party venue.

     

    – In London – there are some fantastic venues in London if you want to go for a New York loft style, with open brickwork and a certain edginess to the surroundings. Look out for galleries and photographic studios, which work brilliantly as a blank canvas to create a totally unique party. We love Loft Studios and The Worx.

    – Around the UK

    – if you choose to throw a party in the country, either you’re lucky enough to have a house or a party house where you can dance the night away, in which case your main thing to book is cleaners for the next day. Alternatively you can put up a marquee, and with endless different types of marquee to choose from, you can set the tone of your party depending on whether you choose a sperry tent (popular in America right now), a stretch tent (popular across Europe), a traditional tent, or go wild and choose an LPM Bohemia grand pavilion.

     

    – Abroad

    – choosing your venue abroad is the most fun, especially if you’re heading to a warmer climate where the weather is more likely to be warm. Dancing under the stars is unbeatable, and there are a host of exciting places we highly recommend, from Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro, to Macakizi in Bodrum, to Pampelonne beach in St Tropez. We’ve worked all around the world and we’ve always noticed that guests coming abroad go even more wild for a party because they are in holiday-mode.

    Whether you pick your venue first, then edit your guest list, or vice versa, now more than ever you can choose from a host of ever different, new and exciting places for your party.

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  • Best Party-Abroad Destinations

    Travelling abroad with friends to celebrate big occasions is becoming increasingly popular, and at Albion Parties we have chosen 3 top party destinations abroad.

    Each destination offers a unique setting, with different options for parties once you’re there. Whether you are looking for barefoot-beach-chic, or Rivieria-style glamour, each of these places will make an impact for your party abroad.

     

    1. ST BARTH’S

    Send invitations to your guests in the form of personalised Smythson travel wallets, with travel information for their trip to St Barth’s, and matching leather luggage tags.

    To stay, take your friends to stay at Le Toiny in St Barth’s, a chic 17-bedroom hotel each with its own private pool. Have personalised beach towels in each bedroom, and a pair of coloured Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses for each guest.

    On the first day, organise a fleet of Mini Mokes to show your friends the island, stopping at Tamarin for a private lunch party set in pretty gardens with parrots swooping and chattering overhead.

    The secluded private beach at Le Toiny is perfect to transform from its daytime look into a party for your friends. Torches can line the path to the beach, where you could decorate long tables with bright flowers, interspersed with flickering candlelight. Fireworks by Foyle Fireworks and a laser show set off from a barge out at sea will have your guests chanting for more.

     

    2. CAPRI

    Take over the fabulously chic JK Place on Capri for a party your friends will certainly remember. When guests check in, have bespoke initialled beach bags ready for each couple, and panama hats and straw hats for the ladies.

    The first night when your guests arrive should be at Aurora restaurant, for relaxed pizza at long tables with a traditional Italian feel. After dinner, those who are game can go to dance at Anema e Core, as long as they promise to be up in time for a boat trip to the Blue Grotto the next morning. Those who don’t make it can go straight to lunch at Fontelina, an idyllic beach restaurant which can only be reached by boat.

    For the main party night, take over the private house Villa Lysis, which can only be accessed on foot. Give your guests the meeting point in the main town square, then lead them on the 15 min walk with walking musicians to the villa. Guests can stop on the way for Prosecco and pecorino served by the locals from their houses.

    For the day after, take everyone for lunch up the hill to the Capri Palace hotel in Anacapri, where the cool breeze will take away the worst of the hangover, and the party can re-start beside the pool.

    3. AMAN SVETI STEFAN, MONTENEGRO

    Fly off to the Adriatic sea and stay at Aman Sveti Stefan, a hotel which occupies a converted 15th century fishing village and a turn of the century royal villa.

    Start your pre-party night at the Cliff Pool, sipping cocktails and overlooking the pool covered in floating lanterns. After a beach party the following day, with butlers to wipe your sunglasses clean, head to The Loggia for the main party dinner, lit with candles and in a setting that is utterly enchanting.

    A hangover brunch the following day in the Piazza, relaxed and fun, shaded and with a pizza oven on hand to cure the excesses of the night before.

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  • Food Displays

    Allow your guests to feast with their eyes with impressive looking displays of miniature puddings, sweetie stations and ice cream stalls.

    The food truck revolution has brought food theatre to the fore, and it’s fun to capitalise on this at a party or a wedding by having Instagram-worthy moments. Food displays are surpassing their own identity, and are becoming an important part of the party décor as a whole. Combining original and quirky designs, with avant-garde food combinations, will create a talking point at your party, putting your food choices centre stage. Popular choices for this style of presentation range from vans with wood-fired ovens serving pizza slices, to retro American Airstream vans, or Piaggio vans offering Italian coffee to late night revellers.

    Growing on the back of the trend for unusual drinks stations, food is now fun and interesting. Guests are invited to explore and discover their food in unique displays. We love canapés served on upright forks, beautifully wrapped miniature burritos, snack stations, and pick-and-mix selections are bound to delight.

    Hosts are also now laying more emphasis on the late-night midnight feast. No longer bacon butties for those departing in the wee small hours, but goodie boxes of mini brownies, organic mini sausage rolls, or warming hot chocolate in a bespoke takeaway cup, add a witty and thoughtful edge to any event.

    Food is no longer functional but artistry; left either as a statement, or involving the guest in the creative process of its display. Quite literally food for thought…

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  • The Hottest Floral Trends for 2017

    Trends for 2017

    Now Spring is on the way, the abundance of buds and blooms herald new trends in the floral design trade. We have compiled our favourite top styles that are ready to blossom this year and update any party or wedding.

     

    Pantone Colour of the Year 2017

    The Pantone colour of the year ‘Greenery’ is sure to excite florists, lending itself to both the natural and the exotic for a contemporary bride. ‘Greenery’ is a colour with a zesty lemon tone and is particularly enlivening after a bleak winter. It will make a statement at Easter, reminiscent of new shoots and Spring foliage. It is also an exciting trend to link into bespoke invitations for a pulled together look. It is surprisingly versatile for summer months and brings freshness to traditional combinations.

    Romantic Flowers
    The trend for wistful and wild floral design continues this year and comes in the appearance of deconstructed bouquets with trailing foliage and large tea roses and peonies. Use seasonal flowers for a natural look. Brides are predicted to have larger than average bouquets harking back to Victorian country weddings. Tables will have large centre pieces with seeded eucalyptus. Expect to see carnations, chrysanthemums and dahlias taking centre stage.

    Bold Blooms
    The catwalk has seen the return of large floral designs and this is reflected in the floristry trend for bold flowers in jewel tones. Liven up tables for contemporary parties with clusters of rich tones of red, hot pink, emerald and sapphire.

    Dutch Old Masters
    A muted palette of golden and burnished hues is set to be popular this year and will work well for late summer Autumn parties. Style the collection of oranges, whites and browns in dramatic combinations such as those of the painter Jan van Huysum. Add moody lighting to complete the picture.

    Hanging floral design
    Albion Parties love floral installations that use striking hanging floral designs. These designs make an effective entrance to a party, and lend a whimsical nature to a room. The prominence of this stunning trend can be seen across Pinterest and Instagram.

     

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  • Creative Christmas Touches

    With the imminent approach of Christmas the countdown has begun and with it the invitations are rolling in for Christmas celebrations. Christmas parties are the perfect opportunity for adding sparkle to a festive table. Create the Christmas magic using mercury vintage tealights, cut glass and succulent evergreens to make your table twinkle. These party settings we have come up with are guaranteed to add a special and thoughtful approach to your decorative scheme.

    Keep the lighting low, using fairy lights and candlelight, and for larger parties use subtle spotlights which can provide a flattering glow. Roaring fires, where appropriate, with pine cones and seasoned logs will add to the atmosphere.

    Parties at Christmas are an ideal time to catch up with family and friends after a busy year so add extra thoughtful touches to your Christmas party seating using stylish hand crafted name settings. Set the mood for your party with our favourite stylish Christmas place settings.

    Break the ice and make your seating plan go with a bang with personalised crackers. Go one step further and create your own crackers, hiding quirky or personalised gifts inside.

    crackernameplace

    Guests can navigate the seating plan, by collecting their personalised Christmas bauble that have a tag with their name and table number attached. We love this idea for nostalgic memories of Christmas. Remember if hanging the baubles to make sure they are not too high or too low, so guests can easily find their name.

    pinecone-holdercinnamon-sticks
    A simple yet effective placecard setting is to spray paint a pinecone with metallic paint. Place the name card in the pine cone and tie it into the table’s decorative theme. We also love a bundle of cinnamon sticks tied together, with the name card propped up inside. All of these ideas have a certain seasonal charm and add to the festive atmosphere.

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  • Bonfire Party Essentials

     

    Bonfire Night is a nostalgic time of year. It is the ultimate ice breaker for guests, as it’s easy to mingle and has a focus for everyone to bond over the bonfire. Once you have established the safety aspect of the night the party side can be really creative!

    Here is our list of Bonfire Night party essentials:

    Provide a seating area away from the explosive festivities for guests to chat and eat. Hay bales are a lovely rustic alternative and can be accessorised with sheepskins and cashmere blankets. Hurricane lanterns will add to the ambiance, as well as fairylights, as the night draws in. We love lights hung around posts for a perfect Instagram shot!

    tents close up 2
    For vintage chic, treat guests to toffee apples around the bonfire. Mulled drinks are the perfect warming accompaniment.

    Serve hot dogs and pulled pork from a retro Airstreamer van, or we love a giant outdoor paella pan for an easy way to feed multiple guests. Why not end the evening with marshmallows over the fire, and a luxurious hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles before everyone heads home.

    After all the hard work, stand back and enjoy the magical fireworks. These party essentials will make sure your Bonfire Party really goes with a bang!

    By in General, Private Parties, Social
  • Glamping Parties

     

    Glamping is a popular idea for those who want wedding festivities to continue over a few days or for birthday parties with a hint of festival fever. Glamping offers a feel of “festival chic” and a dash of Swallows and Amazons…with luxurious facilities on tap, of course. Nowadays, your guests can relax under the stars with wood burners, kingsize beds and hot baths.

     

    Glamping has become so popular now, there are many different shapes and forms in which to use it for your party. Yurts were the original focus of glamping, with the Mongolian tents furnished with sheepskins and wood-burners and the space for full-sized beds. Now, the trend encompasses a dizzying array of bell tents in various forms, alongside revamped traditional shepherd huts, Romany caravans, wooden pods and tree houses.

    tents close up 2

    Our top tips for Glamping parties…

    • Provide luxurious items that guests may forget such as earplugs, an eye mask, a toothbrush and insect repellent. Go organic for a back-to-nature vibe.
    • Dress your tent in a traditional Mongolian style with decorative wall hangings and cosy sheepskin throws for colder nights.
    • Add emergency rain pack for each yurt with cashmere socks, waterproof ponchos, a pack of cards.
    • Print star gazer guides for guests to enjoy their outdoor experience.
    • Bring retro camping games to encourage guests into the mood of glamping, such as badminton and boules.
    • And make sure there’s a vintage food truck serving bacon butties and Alka Seltzer for the morning after….

     

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  • Dante’s Inferno – VJ Light Projection Show

    “I just wanted to pass my congratulations to all the team at CSA for an outstanding result on Saturday – you wowed an audience comprising many hardened party-goers which is no mean feat. Even party-giving demi-gods were gobsmacked! Such was the planning that I was totally relaxed and enjoyed myself hugely.” Happy Client to CSA after the party he threw a Dante’s Inferno-themed party.

    CSA brought their favourite VJ (Video-DJ) to Wiltshire for a light show mapped onto the front facade of the house (NB. the flames are projected, we didn’t actually set fire to the house…)