Before the summer truly sets in (or worse, the monsoons arrive), make the most of your terrace to host one über home party after another. An outdoor living space is a treat that many of us don’t enjoy to the fullest, so LIVEINSTYLE.COM goes the extra mile to offer tips on how to build your own oasis under the sun — or, better still, the best party pad under the stars. As you raise a toast to good friends, good food and great fun at your next balcony bash, you may just end up thanking us for these suggestions!
The great thing about having a terrace is that it generally offers you more flexibility with decorating than your indoor space. Fewer walls, less fixed furniture and no drapes can be a blessing, if you are willing to make a little extra effort to reinvent your outdoor entertainment space from time to time. Call in a decorator to set up an overhead tent or run fairy-lights around the beams of your pergola. Simply putting out a new, colourful set of cushions can make a world of difference. Add potted plants like frangipani or palms (that you can rent from a nursery for the night), or light a handful of hurricane lanterns, and your terrace will turn into a dynamic rooftop retreat whenever you feel the need to party!
As a host, it can be a bit of a chore when you have to keep topping up snack platters and dip bowls — especially if your kitchen doesn’t open out onto your terrace. Cut this tedious labour down by avoiding foods that must be served hot, so you can put out larger batches at a time and let them rest at room temperature. Similarly, munchies that go from crunchy to chewy in no time are a no-no. Try serving crudités with a dip and a selection of olives at your next rooftop shindig, in addition to other outdoor favourites.
I’ve heard it said that guests will forget what food you served and what music you played, but they will never forget how you made them feel. If this is true, running up and down from the fridge all night is doing nothing to further your reputation as the host with the most. Assuming you aren’t on a budget, hire help — so you can spend your time mingling with friends and supervising service, rather than frantically executing every imaginable task yourself. Call in a caterer (who will provide both food and service) and have a mixologist man the bar as well. The caterer will ensure your guests are well fed, while the bartender will keep everyone in high spirits! Most of us can’t mix a Margarita, but a good bartender will be able to offer your guests everything from a Caprioska to a Singapore Sling, possibly with some flair thrown in!
If you live in an area where your neighbours aren’t likely to call the cops at exactly 11pm, invest in a DJ. While he’s spinning out the good stuff, let your hair down and shake a leg — it’ll certainly make for a memorable night. Just remember that there may be local regulations to adhere to when you are playing music outdoors, so if there’s a licence required, ensure your chosen DJ has his paperwork in order.
INVEST IN A FEW PARTY STAPLES
Most guys are happy to have a cold beer in hand and don’t really care if it has come out of an unsightly portable plastic cooler or the fridge. For the über home party host, however, God is in the details. Buy a beverage tub and load it with ice, cans and pints for your guests to grab — it’s so colourful and fun, you’ll enjoy just looking at it. In addition, own a bar spoon, a muddler, a jigger, a cocktail shaker, a strainer and several ice cube trays. A good plan, adequate preparation and the right tools are the key to every successful home party.
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