Richard and Basia Briggs are always on the guest list of the most exclusive parties in London so you can guarantee that any party they host will be fabulous. I visited their Chelsea home for the launch of John Cunningham’s new book, Forgetting Cuba, and it inspired me to write this post about the art of entertaining.
I watched and observed what made this party so much fun and noted that a successful soirée should have the following ingredients.
(1) A UNIQUE and personal reason
This was a summer party, but it was also a book launch so it gave people more reason to come – to learn what the book was about. A birthday, a launch party, an engagement party or a new job party all mean something to people and it gives people a good conversation opener.
(2) A guestlist that includes different friendship groups
If you invite the same people to every party then it’s boring. You need to invite new people to learn interesting things. This party list included newsreader John Simpson, former model Koo Stark and women’s rights campaigner Michelle Young with hair and beauty entrepreneur Claire Rubenstein and journalists from national newspapers and Hello magazine. Basia and Richard are both fantastic company – this is Basia with her close friend and companion of 14 years, Daniel Topolski.
(3) Staff / friends to pour drinks
At most parties, people hang around the kitchen because that’s where the drinks are. If someone else pours the drinks then people circulate. Simple.
(4) Substantial canapés
If a party’s from 6pm-8pm or 6pm to 9pm then people are going to need to eat. If you’ve got interesting people at your party then you have to look after them. Otherwise they’ll leave to get some food or the conversation will lapse as blood flow goes to the stomach and not the brain.
(5) A central location
I have direct experience of how not to do this as I once hosted a party in East London – far away from where any of my friends lived or worked. But that wasn’t the worst of it. It was nowhere near a tube. Can you really expect your guests to trek miles to reach you, especially if they’re dressed up nicelyBasia and Richard live very near a tube but if you don’t then host the party in a venue that is close to a tube. Or suggest taxi companies that guests can use to get to the party.
Do you have any extra points to add to this list? What are your essentials when it comes to party hosting – share your tips below or tweet @livelikeavip
John Cunningham’s Target Cuba is available at Amazon