How to host a cocktail party – 11 ways to entertain your guests in style

1. Fit A Home Bar In To Your Kitchen

For those that love to entertain fitting a home bar into your kitchen layout is the ultimate luxury.

2. Add A Drinks Cabinet

If you don't have space for a fitted bar then a dedicated, well-stocked drinks cabinet in the dining room or living room is the next best thing. Featuring a muted exterior that opens up to reveal a bold, colorful interior mural, this design from Kelling Designs is guaranteed to create a talking point with guests and doubles as a piece of art.

3. Create A Self-Serve Drinks Station

Hosting a cocktail party can be a stressful affair – to take the pressure off, and give you time to enjoy yourself and talk to guests consider setting up a self-service bar.

4. Choose A Portable Bar Trolley

Capturing the glamor of the jazz age, the bar cart has recently experienced a revival and is now a must-have for home entertaining. Available in an array of styles to suit your interior, from rattan designs to chic metallic designs, they are handy for keeping all your barware, drinks, glasses, and garnishes in one place and often come in casters which is useful if you want to move from the dining room into the lounge after dinner.

5. Make Sure You Have The Right Glassware

When it comes to hosting a cocktail party having a range of glassware is a must says Sue Jones, founder of Oka.

6. Create A Dedicated Entertaining Space

If you are embarking on a home redesign and love to entertain then consider factoring in social spaces into your layout. Caroline Milns, interior designer and founder of Zulufish, and Felix Milns, founder of bespoke joinery company Hux London, designed their extension (pictured above) with socializing in mind.

7. Make Sure You Are Well Equipped

When hosting a cocktail party no bartender should be without a good cocktail shaker and barware set, ideally including a jigger, muddler, bar spoon, strainer, and tongs for ice.  An ice bucket is essential as is a large cooler filled with ice for wine, prosecco, and champagne as is a drinks tray for serving.

8. Make Space For Serving Canapés And Nibbles

Having a sideboard or console table is a brilliant multifunctional piece of furniture for a dining room or a living room, especially when it comes to hosting a cocktail party. As well as providing a surface to serve platters of canapes and nibbles, this Runswick design from Rebecca Scott offers handy dining room storage beneath for linens, platters and candles, etc.

9. Set The Mood

If you're wondering how to comes to how to style a console table for a cocktail party then you can't go wrong with candles suggests Sue Jones of Oka. 'For the tabletop, nothing beats candles; they cast a lovely warm glow, and they’re flattering too – everything, and everyone, looks better by candlelight.’

10. Choose Statement Glasses

Dazzle guests by trading in standard clear glassware for colorful and eye-catching designs such as these beautiful, hand-blown Murano glasses from Petersham Nurseries.

11. Make Your Bar Area Memorable

Designed for entertaining, a home bar is a perfect place to decorate a little differently and make a statement. Hannah de Gournay, founder of bespoke wallpaper company de Gournay turned her bar into a glamorous talking point with a gold chinoiserie mural as a backdrop.

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