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.
– 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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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.
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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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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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.
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.
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 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!
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!
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.
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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