Did you know, the sale of alcoholic spirits enjoyed a bit of a growth spurt last year, as people chose to enjoy a tipple in the home more often? According to Nielsen, UK shoppers spent £51.8million more on spirits in 2016 than in 2015. Also fizzing to the top were sales of sparkling wine, which increased by an impressive £101.9 million. While these figures may in part suggest that we, as a nation were attempting to drown our sorrows during an unsettled year, there is undoubtedly a growing ‘staying in’ trend.
If you’re feeling a little less flush than usual at the moment, gather together some of your closest buddies and start planning a series of ‘staying in’ soirees.
Home Entertaining Must-Haves and Lust-Haves
Are you worried that having friends round might hit your pocket hard? Chances are, you already have most of the things you need to put on a good night. Half-drunk spirits left over from the party season will come in very handy, as will any lingering Christmas chocolates and sweets. And, if you lay on a proper spread, then making clever menu choices will make things a lot cheaper than you’d expect.
Before you begin filling your social calendar, there may be some entertainment essentials that you could make it your mission to acquire in 2017. Firstly, a good dining area with space to mingle is a real basic for entertaining. You don’t necessarily need a dining table; your feast area could be some comfortable seating in an inviting space. Indeed, a floor banquet can be a great way to dine with friends. If you’d like to make more formal dinner party hosting a regular affair, you may want to consider your home layout.
Little tweaks such as adding external bi-fold doors will allow you and your guests to move in and out with ease. These styles from Vufold allow you to take the party outside to enjoy drinks and chatter by moonlight and make it much easier to accommodate smokers. If you don’t have a large flat screen TV, think about investing in projection equipment that can be used with your laptop instead, this can often work out considerably cheaper.
You don’t have to be a qualified mixologist to host your own cocktail party! If you’ve got the bare necessities such as a cocktail shaker, stirrer, different glasses and a few recipes, you’re most of the way there. Of course, you’ll also need alcohol or alcohol alternatives if you plan to rustle up some mocktails. To save money you could seek out recipes that make the most of the bottles leftover from Christmas or select a few cocktails for the occasion and request that each guest bring one of the ingredients. Ask your guests to dress to impress and everyone will be able to give their festive party outfits another outing too!
Why is going to the cinema so expensive these days? Once you’ve paid for your ticket and thrown in some snacks, you don’t have much change from a £20 note! Beat the January blues by hosting your own cinema night at home. You may not be able to watch new releases, but with the aid of Netflix, movie channels and your personal DVD collection, you should be able to find something suitable. Keep things cosy by providing guests with blankets to snuggle under and create a pleasant ambience by lighting a few candles. Tip those leftover Christmas chocolates and sweets into bowls and serve up snacks such as Jamie Oliver’s Epic Nachos and you have the recipe for a perfect night in.
Board Game Evening
If you don’t already have a killer board game cupboard, you’ll be surprised at what delights you can find in charity shops. Whether you excel at Cards Against Humanity, Scrabble or Monopoly, why not use the colder nights as an opportunity to hone your board game skills? Again, snacks and drink can be a welcome addition but there’s no harm in asking your guests to bring something along with them.
Whatever ‘stay in’ idea takes your fancy, to make things feel extra special you could try designing some digital or paper invites for your guests. You’ll find some great inspiration and printables on the blog Ohhappyday including these Let’s do cocktails invites.