How to Elevate Your Get-Togethers with Friends

As the festive season draws near, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. From the after-work events to pre-vacation catch-ups, you’ll be grateful for the nights you spend in the comfort of your own home, even when you’re entertaining guests.

Is it your turn to host, but you’re not sure where to start? Sit back, relax, and enjoy a glass of bubbly, as we take you through the best ways to turn your next boozy night in into a sophisticated soiree.

Champagne and dessert party

Bring out the peaches, roses, bubbles, and bubbly — it’s time to channel the essence of spring into your next gathering. Think French champagne, delicious cupcakes, and a sweet and fruity color-scheme. You’ll leave your guests glowing after their saccharine night in.

The Dress Code: With such a colourful set-up at play, you want to keep the dress code smart casual. For a touch of elegance, choose the champagne-inspired colours of pink and gold.

The Drinks: For inspiration, you won’t have to stray far from the theme. Choose a light and fruity rosé, or another fruit-forward wine companion to complement your dessert palate.

The Dishes: Choose treats that are as sweet on the eyes as they are on the taste buds. Feel free to get creative in the mixing bowl, with the deliciously rich classic of red velvet cupcakes. Swap your red dye for a muted pale peach or rose alternative for the perfect addition to your table setting.

Wine and cheese brunch

You don’t have to hold out for the evening to treat your guests — move the merriments to a morning spot and stock up on spread. The New Jersey farming industry is bustling, with world-class artisanal cheese makers and wineries stocking your local spots. Select your wine and cheese combinations carefully, and haul out your finest pottery to create an ambient setting for your evening.

The Dress Code: If you want to try your hand at a theme, try your own take on an authentic, rustic American bakehouse set-up. Stick to a smart-casual dress code, and slip into a soft winter dress ensemble, in complementary earthy tones.

The Drinks: Stick to crowd pleasing tastes, with smooth to rich textures, for a blend of natural, creamy flavours. Try pairing a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with an aged Gouda cheese, or prepare a crisp and fruity Riesling and smooth Ricotta offering.

The Dishes: Take your pick from New Jersey’s finest local bakeries, and bring home a wide selection of croissants, bagels, and breads for your guests to sample. Also mix up a series of cheese plates, served on simple platters, with fresh grapes and condiments to match.

Beer and tacos before the big game

The year is coming to an end, and it’s time to replace those headaches and toothaches from the past with a period of relaxation. Want to check-out the best Jets or Giants game replays of the year? Get the guys together for a post-season hangout you won’t easily forget.

The Dress Code: A laid-back feel is key to a breezy afternoon affair with your crew. Keep your theme simple with a jerseys-and-jeans option for an easy way to get everyone in the spirit, or you could even throw away the dress code altogether.

The Drinks: You’ll want to keep your crispest, freshest beers in the cooler with plenty of soft drinks, and a light scotch option on hand for a smooth afternoon tipple. Keep your drinks stocked and accessible, or start a “beer-pool” for a collaborative way to soften the cost of your early-evening trip to the local liquor store in Lawrenceville, NJ.

The Dishes: Taco nights are a proudly inherited tradition, and the perfect choice for your night at home. Create your own taco station for a simple way to keep your guests happy and well-fed at their own pace throughout the evening.

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