‘So, what plans for New Years?’
Yes, it is that time of the year. Whether you are tilting towards FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or JOMO (Joy of Missing Out), this question must be answered. Closely associated is the question whether you are staying at home or stepping into your stilettos and brogues and buying a pass for a commercial party.
Breathe a sigh of relief that staying at home is the new cool and your friends won’t roll their eyes when you tell them you’re going for a house party. LF got experts to tell us why and how to pull off the best house party of the decade. Read on:
Leave it to the caterers
When Bhakti Mehta started Little Food Co in 2010, there weren’t many professional house party caterers. “We only had the quintessential maharaj who would make pattice and biryani. With the option of having catering service, bar service, decor and even entertainment, this trend was bound to grow,” she says adding that house parties allow people to have their space, time and freedom to meet and talk to everyone at the event.
“With professional services, you don’t have to lift a finger!” Mehta adds, sharing some DIY ideas:
- Create a fun DIY Grazing Table using assorted cheese, fruits, nuts, dips, bread
- Raclette station is a simple and hassle free to have a live grill right in the middle of your living room.
- Assortment of cold cuts, sausages, ham, mushrooms, broccoli, sour dough bread and asaparagus make for simple party nibbles
- Floating buffets with appetisers and small plates/bowls on rotation for the mains. Individually portioned desserts and salads work well too
Control the music, control the guest list
Ruchira Hoon, brand chef at Ek Bar in New Delhi says it like it is: “I like house parties, because I can control the music and the guest list!” Hoon is known for her detailed menus, which always has a cheese board and a carafe of her special mulled wine.
“Delhi is cold in the winters so house parties are a big hit,” says Hoon leaving us with some tips:
- There should be an equal division of hot and cold foods.
- Invest in a soup tureen to keep the food hot. “Mains will be one hot pot of Khow Suey or soupy noodles” says Hoon.
- Do not spend more time in the kitchen than required, even if this means prepping a day in advance. I make cheese puffs a day in advance and and defrost them before serving.
- Five to seven desserts, because it is the season to be merry. From a Gajar Ka Halwa that can be heated in the microwave, to cake pudding that is ready to be served.
Pour easy cocktails at home
Over the past couple of years, Moksh Sani, Managing Director, Living Liquidz, wine and liquor retail store chain, has noticed that the age group of 30 and above prefer not to be part of big commercial parties. “You can always go to a neighbourhood bar every few kms, so, the novelty is gone. At a house party, you can order food in, have a personal bartender and stick to a budget.”
According to Sani, home bartending is a great idea where you can curate shots and cocktails customised to your requirements. “We offer at home bartending service where we send you staff, glasses drinks mixers ice the works. Can it get any easier?”
Moksh Sani's bar tips:
- Cool wine quickly with ice and salt.
- Make ice cubes out of tonic water or fresh fruits and sprite for awesome infusion flavour.
- Rim cocktails with fresh herbs.
Create a chilled-out vibe
Rachel Goenka, owner of Sassy Spoon and House of Mandarin says house parties are her first pick compared to stepping out for a party. “Some people love the energetic and festive vibe when going out and others prefer a more chilled out soirée with a few friends in the comfort of their own home,” says Goenka, whose book, Adventures with Mithai, recently won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2020 in the category of Best Pastry Cookbook for India.
Her DIY ideas to throw a rocking NYE party at home:
- You can throw a pot-luck party if it’s an informal gathering of close friends where everyone brings something of their choice. It reduces the pressure on the host as well the need to cook up a bulk meal for guests.
- Make some punch which can easily be refilled. It could be mulled wine or a spiked fruit punch.
- Think about the music in advance as well and make a few playlists so you set the mood. “Start out with retro or jazz and then move into more commercial and pop. A lot of our parties end up in classic rock,” Goenka says.
Mark the dance floor
Gunjan Gupta, founder of The Meraki Table which specialises in bespoke table decor and themed décor says it takes only a couple of commercial parties in life to make you prefer house parties. “Booze getting over before 12 midnight, drunk strangers and puke infested bathrooms are passé,” says Gupta.
She throws in some décor hacks:
- Pick a theme. “My go to is gold & black. Use sequins table cloths for the bar. Ask your guests to wear black and gold,” she insists.
- Set up all your the lampshades/lamps/bulbs and fairy lights across your house. Use fairy lights to create a warm effect by wrapping around the balcony grill/windows/hang from suitable places. You can even use paper lanterns with bulbs or LED balloons.
- Highlight your dance floor by using helium filled balloons with gold ribbons hanging over your room.
- Make/buy funny photo props such as 2020 glasses, feather boas and placards with NYE's messages.
Featured image: Shutterstock.com