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Cocktail Party Tips

As the notion of cocktail parties comes back onto our radars, we thought it could be useful to draw up a bit of a refresher. Some of us are rusty and there are a few key points that bear consideration as we return to hosting. From seating arrangements to the perfect playlist, we’ve got you covered…

 

Entry Tables + Cocktail Bars

Left: Angel Round Dining Table in ‘Bronze’ with a ‘Noir St Laurent’ marble top | Right: Papillon Console Table in ‘Ulysseys Blue’ with a glass top; both photographed by Damian Russell

First impressions are key and what could make a better impact than a beautiful entry table brimming with libations? Tom’s new take on the classic Angel table comes in a three-legged format for a laid-back bistro feel. Just add canapés plus a few glasses of bubbly and you’re off to the races!

If you find yourself in tighter quarters, it can work well to base your bar on a console table to free up space in the room. The Papillon Console Table is hard to miss, with its captivating metalwork and dazzling array of colourful finishes. The display comes together as a warm and especially enticing welcome to guests.

 

Drinks Trolleys

Left: Papillon Drinks Trolley in ‘Mariposa Verde’ with ‘Dichroic’ glass tops | Right: Papillon Drinks Trolley in ‘Baronet Red’ with ‘Dichroic’ glass tops and Michael Ruh glassware; photographed by Damian Russell

Having a satellite bar is not only a beautiful addition to the ambiance but a functional tool for hosting. Use your bar cart as a roving cocktail collection, which cuts down on trips back to the kitchen, freeing you up to actually enjoy your own party. With technicolour finishes and spellbinding dichroic glass, the Papillon Drinks Trolley is the perfect cocktail party sidekick.

 

Cocktail Party Seating

Left: Lily Stool in ‘Anthracite Blue’ | Right: Lily Stool in ‘Bronze’ with ‘Grey Gotland’ sheepskin

If you’ll be serving food at your cocktail party (and we speak for all guest when we say please do!) ample seating is key. It goes a long way having somewhere to perch while enjoying a bite. It also encourages a more convivial atmosphere, where guests can linger in engaged conversation. The Lily Stool is a fun design with a compact footprint, making the most of your space and allowing for fluidity in your seating layout.

Left: Lily Ottoman in ‘Anthracite’ with Rose Uniacke mohair velvet in ‘Gold’ | Right: Lily Ottoman in ‘Florentine Gold’ with Lewis & Wood Rooksmoor velvet in ‘Marmara’

Ottomans are great for cocktail parties, enticing friends to come together and even rest a drink or two. We suggest popping a small tray on your ottoman to keep it safe from any spillage. The generous proportions of our Lily Ottoman leave you with extra space for smaller snacks, like olives or radishes for guests to pick at while they chat. Just don’t forget the cocktail napkins!

 

Cocktail Tables

Left: Edge Side Table in ‘Anthracite’ | Right: Edge Side Table in ‘Charcoal’ with an ‘Arabescato’ marble top

Cocktail tables are a must, for obvious reasons. It’s a good idea to situate larger tables like the Sienna Side Table closer to the centre of the space, where most people will gravitate to rest a glass. Smaller designs like the Edge Side Table are perfect for peppering around the periphery of the room, where a few friends may splinter off to.

Left: Sienna Square Side Table in ‘Charcoal’ with an ‘Autumn’ bronze top + Berlin Dining Chair in ‘Bronze’ with ‘Midori Green’ leather | Right: Sienna Square Side Table in ‘Bronze’ with a glass top

 

Drinks Coasters

Coasters in ‘Polished Bronze’ and ‘Ocean Blue’

Drinks coasters are key. In a carefully curated living space, it’s important to protect those prized furniture pieces – especially when there are drinks involved. Tom’s signature Coasters are made with a nod to the classic Capricorn shape, delivering a sleek, yet functional addition to your cocktail party set-up.

 

Party Flowers Arrangements

Galena Vase in ‘Moon Silver’ + Madison Console Table in ‘White Gold’ with a glass top

Introducing a few cut flowers is a wonderful way to bring life indoors. To get your home cocktail party-ready, be sure to pick up a few vibrant bouquets. Opt for simple, seasonal arrangements and let the vases add some visual intrigue. The Galena Vase is a beautifully geometric design that’s sure to make your flower arrangements sing. If you’re building your own bouquet, go by the classic rule and use an odd number of stems. For some reason it just looks right, bringing a sense of visual balance to the arrangement.

 

Cocktail Party Lighting

Left: Ava Table Lamp in ‘Black Patina’ | Right: Capricorn Floor Lamp in ‘Bronze’

The right lighting really does set the tone for a social occasion. In lieu of harsher overhead fixtures, use lamps to illuminate the room. The result is a less flat, more dynamic, warm glow. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to showcase some beautiful works of design, like the Capricorn Floor Lamp or Ava Table Lamp.

Capricorn Candlesticks in ‘Persian Silver’ (left) and ‘Charcoal’ (right)

Take your lighting one step further and put out some candles for an especially warm welcome and a greater sense of occasion. We suggest a few Capricorn Candlesticks to start you off on the right foot.

 

Cocktail Party Music

The finishing touch will be the perfect party playlist. Tom has got you covered with a far-reaching collection of timeless favourites, from Nina Simone to Pink Floyd. So, all that’s left to do is start pouring the drinks!

 

 

Text by Annabel Colterjohn

 

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