Just like mulled wine, bad jumpers and pantomimes, Christmas Parties have become part of the traditional festive build-up to December 25th.
And now, with a whole array of celebrations including office parties, school mum get-togethers and old friends toasting the festivities, party revellers want a Christmas party that will really stand out and add an extra bit of sparkle to the month-long extravaganza.
As Aberdeenshire’s premier party host, we caught up with Thainstone Events general manager, Graham Fryers, to find out how to plan the perfect Christmas party.
Check out his top tips below to ensure you pull off a Christmas cracker!
As with most things, preparation is key in planning the perfect party. At Thainstone Events, we begin planning the festive party nights in January, almost as soon as we’ve finished clearing up the confetti from the year before. This means that we spend practically all year working on our festive calendar. Thankfully there are no scrooges in the team, and we’re happy to play the part of Santa’s Little Helpers all year round!
In planning a great night out, we strive to provide our guests with three things that we find to be the most important aspects – fantastic entertainment, high-quality food and excellent value for money.
Although trends can come and go, these three aspects remain year in and out, and at Thainstone we plan every year with these in mind.
Party nights can offer a whole host of entertainment, including discos, live music, magicians and games.
At our forthcoming festive parties, we’re offering a choice of discos or live music. I’m a fan of both, with bands offering a slightly different party atmosphere as they offer a more personal experience. They’re good for being able to offer music that caters for both young and not-so-young and can offer a bit of banter with the dance floor. That being said, the North East has some fantastic party DJ’s who know the right tunes to get even everyone up on the dance floor. The key is to have a good mix of songs that suit all guests, as well as the classic Christmas hits of course! Who doesn’t love to croon along to ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham!?
Food and drink
It’s not Christmas if you haven’t dipped a pig in a blanket into some cranberry sauce! By the main event, most folk are likely fed up on turkey and all the trimmings, but that’s exactly what they expect to find on their plate at a Christmas party. At Thainstone, we opt for a traditional festive approach to our food, serving up Donside turkey, roast Scotch beef and honey-baked gammon from the carvery for guests. However, we like to add a modern twist with our starters and desserts, whilst also altering our menu to include tasty plates for any dietary requirements including vegans, vegetarians and any intolerances.
When crafting our menus, we make sure to work solely with local suppliers who provide our top team of chefs with the very best in locally-sourced produce. We draw a lot of inspiration from our flagship restaurant, Porterhouse Steakhouse & Coffee Bar, which has a menu carefully crafted and executed by the fantastic kitchen team led by head chef, Victor Garcia.
Themed cocktails can add an extra flair to your party and help your guests feel they’re getting the best experience possible. A themed cocktail always goes over well, however, be conscious of the size of your party. If you feel you can manage crafting themed cocktails into your event and want to add this to your party, focus on using craft gins and liquors from local suppliers, and be ready to explain to your guests why you’ve selected each component for your cocktail.
Wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages
That said, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to fizz, beer and wine. It’s also always a good idea to have non-alcoholic options for those who may be driving or choose not to drink. There are plenty of local craft brewers that offer a host of fantastic non-alcoholic beers – a popular choice among our non-drinkers.
Value for money
Christmas is an expensive time of year and parties are an additional cost for the busy month. Therefore, it’s important to offer guests excellent value for money. They want to feel like VIP’s for the evening with good food and drink in a festive atmosphere. We try our best to offer this with our delicious menus and choice of party nights to put on a hooley our guests won’t forget.
Themes are an excellent way to do this. It adds to the feel of the night and builds tremendous excitement about a night rather than just putting on a generic party. It also helps when decorating your party as you have a framework to work within when you have a theme. People love to dress up to a theme and popular culture often births a lot of party themes. It’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of popular trends when choosing a theme.
Extra entertainment and add-ons
Similarly, we find extra entertainment to be an essential part of our parties. The name of the game is adding something extra special to your guests’ experience, and additional entertainment and add-ons can be the cherry on top. We are finding photo booths and selfie walls to be a popular trend for parties. We are also offering a silent disco this year for Hogmanay as a fun twist on what’s normally a very traditional night!
Graham’s final tip for the perfect night
Whatever the theme, menu or entertainment, my big tip would be to make sure your hosting skills are on point and your hospitality is strong. Make sure you deliver on expectations, the service is tight, and you are catering to your guest’s wants and needs. No matter how good your party is, if your hospitality isn’t up to snuff, your festive gathering won’t go over as well as you may hope!
As Aberdeenshire’s premier venue and events business – with capacity for more than 400 party revellers, Thainstone Events has got you and your guests needs covered.
Based on years of experience – both planning and partying – the Thainstone Exchange events team has planned an exciting and original calendar of events throughout December that will have you partying in the countryside till the coos come home!
Check out our website for more information around our party nights and for details of our delicious and local menus.
EARLY BIRD OFFER
And for a limited time only, we’re offering up an early Christmas treat. Book and pay for your Christmas party night with Thainstone Events before 30th September and be entered into a prize draw!
1ST PRIZE: £350 voucher to Porterhouse Steakhouse & Coffee Bar
2ND PRIZE: £250 voucher to Porterhouse Steakhouse & Coffee Bar
3RD PRIZE: A bottle of FREE champagne at your Christmas party night