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Party Ideas with a Difference


Party Ideas with a Difference

This New Year, why don’t you have a different kind of party?

New Year parties are usually held during the evening or night. That is the order of the day (or is it night?)!  Everyone meets, they munch on snacks, sip on drinks, chat, maybe dance and after a heavy dinner, they head home. So why not try out something different? Why not go in for day parties, or even evening parties with a difference.

Here are some rocking ideas for the festive season. Enjoy!

Bonding with breakfast

Sounds odd? Just try it. It would be a refreshing change. (Unless you and your friends are the sorts who sleep at the crack of dawn and wake up when folks are ready for their afternoon snooze!). Invite family or friends for a sumptuous breakfast. It could be a traditional idli/dosa/pongal/vada breakfast or go in for a North Indian one with steaming hot aloo parathas or poori and channa. You could even go Continental. Just lay it on thick – fresh juice, cheese omelets, bacon, sausages, buttery toast, hash browns, scones, lots of fresh fruit…yummy! It could be a latish breakfast so no one curses you for getting them up at some unearthly hour on a holiday. Have fun – play some lively music, exchange gifts and spend a lazy morning bonding with your loved ones.

Holiday brunch

If breakfast is a bad idea (for all you night owls), go for brunch. Serve chilled beer, and fresh juice. Sit around and exchange gossip, admire each other’s new clothes, sip your drinks and just chill! Brunch could be something light – a salad, maybe a soup, omelets or scrambled eggs, and a choice of cold cuts. It would be filling but not as filling as having a full-course meal. And for the host, planning and executing it is simple. Not too much cooking, not too much preparation…and everyone has a chilled out time.

Afternoon tea

Why not go the English way and invite your friends over for afternoon tea? It’s a refreshingly different way of throwing a party. If you have a garden or terrace, all the better. Recreate the ambience of an English tea party. Throw lace covers on your table, make sure your table linen (napkins, serviettes, etc) are sparkling and clean. Pull out your silver tea set. Serve herbal tea, Earl Grey or peppermint tea in delicate porcelain cups. For a traditional British touch, provide warm milk and honey. Prepare wafer-thin sandwiches with a variety of fillings. (Don’t forget the good old cucumber and watercress sandwiches!). Some cake and scones would add that final touch. Sit back and hearken back to a bygone era of gracious relaxed afternoons where one socialized in style.

After dark

Now this one will appeal to all the night owls. Have an after-hours party – one of those elegant dos where guests come in after dinner. Serve champagne, liqueur and coffee and a late evening dessert. Light up some candles in elegant candelabras, pull out your lace and expensive table linen, fill up your crystal vases with luxurious flowers, play some soft old jazz and let the night take over. Serve chocolate-dipped strawberries, liquor chocolates, fruit tarts, cheesecake, and an assortment of nuts, crackers and cheese.

Potluck party

This one is for all those who revel in cooking. Remember those times when potluck was so much a part of our lives? Well, re-ignite that potluck charm!  You could provide the basics like rice, bread or rotis and make one exotic dish. Have a theme if necessary to make it even more appetizing. You could also have a cookout where guests come to your home and cook their dishes in your kitchen. This of course would be impractical for large crowds but can be great fun with close friends and family. Watch the bonhomie and camaraderie raising everyone’s spirits.

Choco charm

Have a sinful, calorie-laden chocolate party. It’s the festive season after all, so why not just go ahead and indulge? (In any case, all that alcohol and all those cakes and quiches one gorges on are pretty calorie-heavy!). Ask your guests to dress up as pieces of chocolate or keep the dress code brown and white. Heap up your table with a variety of chocolates in bowls – have one filled with nutty chocs, one with chocolates in different colored wrappings, a couple of bowls with branded chocolates, etc. Have a plate with chocolate chip cookies, one with chocolate cream biscuits and of course, good old chocolate cake and brownies. Want to go the whole hog? Serve vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce or chocolate ice cream. Your friends will end up in chocolate heaven! Nevertheless, practicalities also matter, so have some savory stuff – it could be cocktail samosas, crackers, cheese, or hot pakodas and of course, coffee and hot chocolate.