Parties for Grown-Ups

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The internet is full of awesome advice, tips, tricks and videos on how to throw an epic party – everything from theme inspiration, menu planning and cocktail mixing.

But what if you want to do something a little more interesting than cranking up the music? Perhaps you’re bored with party-poppers, pinatas and punch but aren’t sure your guests are into Board Games or live action role play.

Well how about these 5 top party ideas for grown-ups, because why should the kids have all the fun?

Chocolate making parties

There are hundreds to choose from up and down the country – check out Buyagift and Red Letter Days for one near you – but most have limited numbers and mean you have to travel to them.

Hand dipping chocolates, © David Greenwood-Haigh, Pixabay
Hand dipping chocolates, © David Greenwood-Haigh, Pixabay

Someone who’ll come to you is Hertfordshire-based The Choccie Drop. Kirsty offers a 2 and a half hour bean-to-bar experience using the best Belgian chocolate. At the end of the day your choccies are packaged up for you and Kirsty clears up the mess!

Chocolate making, The Choccie Drop © AngelaGPhotographer
Home or workplace the Choccie Drop comes to you © AngelaGPhotographer

Cocoa & Heart offer something similar for parties in South East London, Kent, East Sussex and Essex, guiding you through making truffles, choc bars and shards.

Oliver’s Chocolate Parties are based in Cheshire and Amsterdam and will travel to you for an event which includes truffle-making and chocolate lollipops.

Chocolate making, Oliver's Chocolate Parties © Oliver's Chocolate Parties
Wine and chocolate – always good for a giggle! © Oliver’s Chocolate Parties

And then there’s the amazing Chocolatician – responsible for the Cumberbunny (Benedict Cumberbatch as the Easter Bunny) a 10 foot long Orient Express and the Chocolate Queen at 90.

Jen Lindsey-Clark offers private parties at her workshop in Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex. You might not be able to match her expertise but you will get hands-on help with tempering chocolate and making loads of truffles, lollipops and artisan creations.

Chocolate Party for adults © Chocolatician
Chocolate partying for adults © Chocolatician

One thing you have to be aware of – and anyone who’s watched the Great British Bake Off will know all about it – is that chocolate goes wild if the temperature gets too high or too low and most of the above companies will have a limited travel range for that reason.

Gin-tasting parties

Gin and tonic, © Ben Kerckx, Pixabay
Let the good times be gin © Ben Kerckx, Pixabay

Gin is still a thing – and we think it’ll never go out of fashion. The Little Gin Company in Warwickshire is a quirky mobile gin business offering gin-fuelled fun for any occasion. They kick off their gin tasting sessions with a cocktail before moving on to a sequence of artisan gins, with or without a splash of tonic, before guests choose their favourite to have in full measure.

Gin tasting with The Little Gin Company
Gin tasting with The Little Gin Company

And Sussex-based Slake Spirits has recently branched out into gin parties too, providing bespoke tastings-and-talks for private parties and corporate events. Their own artisan gins made from foraged or locally sourced botanicals are sensational.

Slake Gin bottles © rosemaryandporkbelly.co.uk
Learn about botanicals with Slake Gin © rosemaryandporkbelly.co.uk

Pottery parties

Remember that romantic sequence from Ghost, where the music plays, the hands touch and it all gets a bit messy? Not sure that’s quite what’s on offer if you go to a pottery party, but the wheel will certainly turn!

Brighton’s Painting Pottery Cafe in North Road offers group sessions where you can work the wheel and produce a pot to be proud of. You then return a couple of weeks later to glaze and fire it yourself or they’ll do it for you and post your pot on. Another speciality is Hen, Sten and Stag parties where you can paint a pot as a souvenir of your pre-wedding celebrations.

Painting Pottery Cafe, Brighton © Painting Pottery Cafe
All my own work at the Painting Pottery Cafe, Brighton © Painting Pottery Cafe

Hazle’s Pottery Barn in Billericay, Essex does something similar – with hen parties a speciality – and you don’t need to be ‘arty’ to have fun. With a range of pre-prepared pots to choose from and a band of talented artists on hand to guide you you’re bound to produce a personal masterpiece.

Knicker-making parties

Everyone knows about Ann Summers parties – the saucier version of Tupperware and Avon direct-selling events – but have you ever thought about a party where you make your own pants?

Billed as a ‘naughty but nice’ hen party package Lingerie Showers will bring the sewing party to you and provide you with everything needed to create bespoke knickers and garters. Champagne is an optional extra. But then you could get your knickers in a twist!

Wine and Cheese Pairing Party

And finally the classic grown-up party. No hostess from the seventies would have been without at least one wine and cheese party on their social calendar but today’s party-goers require something a little less formal and much more fun.

Laura and Kiki of A Grape Night In © Lucy Pope
Wine tasting with Laura and Kiki of A Grape Night In © Lucy Pope

Dozens of companies offer pre-prepared packages featuring foods and wines from different regions or countries. A Grape Night In promises a fun evening based around a quirkier theme like festivals, extreme sports and even politics. They bring the wine, the glasses, the tasting sheets and an entertaining ‘wine-guru’ guide who promises not to baffle you with wine-waffle.

But it’s just as fun to do it yourself. Why not take potluck and ask your guests to bring their own favourite bottle of wine and some cheese? Who knows what pairings might emerge.

Among the food and wine that is, and maybe even your guests!

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