How to be the hostess-with-the-mostest
There are some things that I thought I’d nail by middle age. Number one, it was part of my plan to have performed a daring, sexy image haul by now (nope). Number two, I’m supposed to be fluent in at least one language other than English (er, nope). And thirdly, I really expected myself to be an assured, relaxed party-thrower by now, able to knock out an effortless dinner soiree and a stylish round up of friends for glamorous, chinky-glassed, giggly get togethers. One. Massive. NOPE.
Somehow the hostess-with-the-mostess just hasn’t happened. It’s just so stressful, all that planning, shopping and everything – let alone deciding what to wear. So I’ve done a little bit of research and come up with some ideas for throwing a bash where everyone else does all the work.
#1 The booze
Professional bartenders like Jake from Wren’s Nest (who comes up with Muddy’s cocktails of the month – which reminds me, I’ve got one to post) will come over to your place with the booze and all the shakers, ice crushers and little stirrers needed to mix up your favourite cocktails. Or you can provide the booze yourself and he’ll make like Tom Cruise (remember Cocktail?). It works out a lot cheaper than going out to a bar and leaves you to concentrate on sashaying around looking glam and knocking them all back.
#2 The food
Don’t spend hours shopping and cooking party grub – get someone else to do all the work. You could go online to Waitrose, ask your local deli if they’ll put together some platters – or, if you really want to impress, call in the experts and tickle your guests’ tastebuds with chef-made selection of canapes and other delicacies. It needn’t cost the earth, Lesley Walters-trained personal chef Steve James will put together canapes and petit fours from £8 per head.
#3 The music
Have a silent disco: pop on your headphones everybody, dance to your own groove and have the music as loud as you want without annoying the neighbours. A transmitter connected to a music source – iPod, iPhones, laptops and TVs – broadcasts signals to headphones which have two or three different channels. You can turn it up or turn it down. The Silent Disco Company will courier everything you need from £135 for 25 headsets (includes nationwide delivery) – just plug in and play.
#4 The hot tub
OK, so you’ve done the hot tub thing on holiday or in a spa (heck, the Muddies even had a dip in one on some decking at Centre Parcs) but how about sitting with some bubbles in some bubbles in your own back garden? And the tub’s only the beginning. You can put it under a gazebo or a special dome festooned with coloured mood lighting, set up disco lights or even have an HD cinema screen and projector to show a movie (which would have to be…Splash?). The nice strong men at Bristol Hot Tub Hire will deliver and set up your hot tub and lighting and whatever else for you. Packages start from £180 to hire from Thurs-Mon.
#5 The clearing up
Organise a cleaning company to come and make everything good while you go for that bracing, early morning 5-mile run or nurse your hangover. Actually a run (or some sort of exercise) is a good way of getting rid of a hangover. Associate Prof of Psychology at Chris Alford from the University of the West of England says that exercise kick starts your metabolism and increases blood flow which speeds up clearance of alcohol-related toxins from your bloodstream and tissues.