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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
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!