Luxury and Style

ENTERTAINING

Whether your charity is affluent or not, there is always an onus upon those working for the cause to ensure that every penny donated or raised is spent responsibly. The less that is spent on marketing, fundraising events or even administration, the more that can be spent directly on frontline services. So being a ‘budget-aware-marketeer’ is an essential ingredient of guaranteed success. The first step for anyone running an event for charity should be to ‘work’ your contacts. Contacts are the life-force of any charity; it comes down to the old read more > >

If you have run a lot of events for charity or helped friends there may come a point when you ask that all important question – how can I become a party planner? In fact there are plenty of enthusiastic and committed people desperate for some insight on how to break into the business of party planning. The main problem they encounter however is lack of proper advice but many start up their own company.  Being any sort of event organiser can be extremely rewarding, however as the job is often read more > >

Cocktail parties are one of the most flexible and easy ways to bring a large gathering of people together. You don’t need to worry about table plans, guests can circulate freely and more or less come and go as they please. A cocktail party is a great way of returning hospitality as without the complications of of organising formalised seating. Also, another huge advantage of holding a cocktail party is that many different social or business sectors can mix far more easily, feeling comfortable that they can move on round read more > >

Marquee hire is often very necessary for large outdoor events or even entertaining in your garden. Hiring a marquee is a very popular these days with a good many party organisers. So rather than be under the catering and space restrictions of a hotel or established venue you may prefer to hold your event or party in a beautifully decorated marquee; perhaps in the grounds of a stately home, castle or even your own garden. Marquees have come a long way since the old-fashioned poled tents we used to see read more > >

To find a venue for your special event or party is only a small part of successful event organization. Once you have found that perfect venue you will then need to be completely switched on to ensure that the venue completes their side of the contract and fully cooperates with every one of your requirements – no matter how unusual. Leave nothing to chance and never assume that the little niggles that you have encountered while dealing with the venue will come right on the day, they won’t unless you read more > >

Table and seating plans are one of the major planning tasks, epecially for large events, parties or weddings. Putting the right guests at the right tables can at first appear complicated to sort out, especially if you can’t get your guests to confirm quickly whether or not they are attending . However if you break the whole project down into a logical piece by piece exercise it is not nearly so daunting. Follow these simple rules for table and seating planning and you won’t go far wrong. Discuss the seating read more > >

Why not hire a personal chef for next your dinner party if you lead a busy life with a hectic schedule and don’t have enough time to cook yourself. Are you planning a special dinner party for friends, family or even business colleagues? Do you wish you could enjoy it without the stress of tending to all of those little last minute details? If you were to hire a personal chef who can take care of everything from planning the menu to dealing the dinnerware and decorations you would certainly enjoy your party read more > >

There are many reasons to send out party invitations, from a themed birthday bash or an intimate garden party to a huge charity Christmas affair or a masked ball. Once you have set your budget, chosen your venue and decided on a theme you can then start to think about your invitations. There are so many party invitation options and styles available these days that you can easily be overwhelmed by too many choices, but a good rule of thumb is to opt for a style that you like and read more > >

The success of any large event or simple dinner party can hinge on the style and quality of the food and wine. Whether the menu is simple or grand try to use as many fresh ingredients as possible and you may want to make a point of using local specialities such as salmon, game, venison, beef or even local wine. Follow our menu game plan and you won’t go far wrong. Always consider your budget. If you are slightly restricted don’t spend a lot of money on too many expensive items read more > >

The location of your party venue is important, as is the amount of available parking and access. Make sure that your venue is well within range of main arterial routes, especially if you have a number of guests coming from afar. Try to choose a venue with a good setting if your guests will be arriving in daylight. Be very cautious about picking a venue way up a narrow country lane if you are planning a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party, what can appear ideal in summer may become read more > >

Flowers for your party or event are one of the final decorative touches that pulls everything else together. For this reason alone they should be chosen with great care as they are not only a visual expression of the occasion but also of your personality and taste. Choose a florist preferably from personal recommendation or if necessary from the internet or yellow pages. Arrange a meeting first of all to make sure that you gel with the person who is going to have a prominent role in your party plans. read more > >

You should consider taking out event insurance if you are organising any large event or party since you have a legal obligation to ensure you are protected with suitable insurance. This should include public liability up to at least £5,000,000, employers liability up to £5,000,000 and property and cancellation cover. No matter how well you plan for your event to be a huge success, things unfortunately can still go wrong. You may have to postpone the event because of a sudden death, disastrous weather conditions, or your venue could even read more > >

It’s a well-known fact that a beautiful table setting complements almost any style of food for any type of entertaining. Never forget that first impressions are nearly always determined by decoration and layout of the table and the that they set tone of a meal . Here are some tried and tested basic rules to help you set the perfect table. Try to match the style of your table to the type of food you are serving, e.g. a country lunch in the open will look much better served on read more > >

Everyone loves a summer party, whether it is an informal picnic on the banks of the river at Henley or a grand summer ball with swirling gowns, an orchestra and fireworks. Whatever your choice the summer makes it possible to employ all the strategies of an imaginative party planner but with a much greater choice of fresh food, flowers, decoration, venues (including marquees) and even entertainment. A summer party that draws to a close with the scent of honeysuckle, jasmine and new-mown hay on the night air can hardly ever read more > >

Catering for an event at any venue can be a minefield simply because if you, your caterers or your venue get it wrong, your whole event or party is at risk of being ruined. Before handing over the complete catering package a venue do be absolutely sure to check whether your venue has good quality in-house catering with a competent chef and proper suppliers. Check also whether they have plenty of menu choices and are flexible about any suggestions you may want to offer. To avoid mishaps or  you may read more > >

  Hiring an attractive dance floor can often be one of the focal points of your event or party, so make sure you get it right on the night. Most venues have a dance floor already but you may need to rent one from an event hire company if your party is to be held in a marquee or an unusual venue. You may even need to hire an extra dance floor if you are catering for two different generations of dancers. Teeny boppers won’t want to mix on the dancefloor with read more > >

Let’s face it some people are so worried by the thought of running a children’s party they hand the whole thing over to a professional or take a chattering, shouting gang of kiddies to Pizza Hut. Children are usually too young to have learnt the art of social graces, which includes the ability to pretend they are having a good time even if they’re not. So – you have to get it right first time and provide that all-important party for your child. Here are a few useful tips to ensure read more > >

Place name cards and menu cards can really enhance your table particularly if they are both themed to your event or party. Many busy event organisers simply use standard printed stationery for place settings and menus, especially for formal banquets and balls and while there is nothing wrong with that at all it is much more fun and indeed much more creative to come up with some original ideas of your own. See our ideas shown below for help with place name cards ideas and menu cards ideas. Fold menu read more > >

At any formal gathering it is often the after dinner speaker who can make the event memorable long after the last brandy and chocolate mint have been devoured. There is no doubt about it a charismatic speaker, be they a leading politician or a witty comedian, can have an enormous impact on the success of an event while a dreary speaker can kill it stone dead. Nobody likes to sit and be bored under the table, especially if they have paid good money to attend what they expect to be read more > >

Party venues can certainly make or break your party, it is important therefore that everything about the venue is just about as perfect as you can make it. When choosing a party venue do be aware that the individual style of the venue can have a great bearing on your party’s atmosphere. For instance do you want a hotel, stately home, castle or even a moving train or river boat; the choice is endless, it is really a matter of choosing a style of venue which really suits your party read more > >

Take a look at our table decoration ideas and table centres inspiration. Beautiful and, in particular, unusual table decoration and table centres can make an enormous difference to the feel of your event. It means that how you personally choose to decorate your tables gives you an opportunity to create that very individual  feel for your special occasion. Whether you opt for an elegant or traditional style of table decoration or whether you decide to have a fun and funky look it can completely reflect your own personality or the theme read more > >

Planning a party is a creative process that also needs a distinct practical foundation to make everything fall fabulously into place . While small impromptu dinner parties or friendly get-togethers require very little planning anything remotely on the grand scale needs proper and attentive pre-planning to make sure as little goes wrong on the day as is humanly possible. To help you organise your party from scratch we have devised a useful checklist, which you can use to tick off reminders as you go. Decide exactly what style of party read more > >

Entertaining guests in a restaurant is often preferable to having people in your own home, for a meal you have had to prepare yourself. The latter can often be a hit and miss affair that leaves you exhausted and without enough free time to attend to your guests. To make sure that your guests are bowled over by the occasion, just follow these few simple rules. Always choose a restaurant with a reputation for quality food and service and, where possible, go to a restaurant where you are already known and valued. read more > >

If you nervous about choosing the right wine for an event but are fortunate enough to be holding your event at a reputable venue it may be as well to simply hand over the responsibility of choice to the sommelier or banqueting manager whose job it is to match the right wine with the food and the occasion. If however you want to have the fun and satisfaction of organising the wine yourself read our brief wine summary. Classified by regions and type, wines are to be found under recognisable names such read more > >