Host a grown-up house party (now the kids are away!)

Host a grown-up house party (now the kids are away!)

If your children are off at university or have left home, now’s your chance to relive your youth with a house party – only this time it’s a bit more sophisticated...

If your children are off at university or have left home, now’s your chance to relive your youth with a house party – only this time it’s a bit more sophisticated...

Remember whenever your parents left town you saw it as the perfect excuse to throw a house party? Well those days don't have to be over – but now it's your kids you've got to get rid of!

If they're heading back to uni soon, or perhaps they've recently moved out into a home of their own, why not use the chance to throw a party for you and your friends? Although perhaps with a few improvements – there are some things we're happy to leave firmly in the past...

The drinks

Before: the cheapest plonk you could find all poured into one big bucket and served into plastic cups. It tasted terrible, but it did the job.

Now: use your drinks cabinet or vintage trolley as a bar area (failing that, just use the kitchen table).

Present your wine bottles with a pretty tag tied to the neck with the wine's origins, tasting notes and food pairing suggestion written on it, and put beer bottles on ice in a big steel bucket with a bowl of sliced limes alongside it.

Then provide the ingredients of three or four cocktails and write out the recipes for each cocktail, ideally on a chalkboard hung over the ‘bar’, so guests can shake up their own concoctions.

The nibbles

Before: crisps, nuts and, if you were fancy, a few hot mini sausage rolls.

Now: cook up some tasty canapés and serve them on a tray – this gives you the perfect way to welcome all your guests and mingle.

Need recipe inspiration? Check out our sophisticated Russian blinis, tasty Spanish tortilla, celery boats with blue cheese and walnuts, and more.

To keep stomachs lined, have a buffet table of cold cuts, cheeses, fresh breads and a chocolate fondue with fruit pieces to dip.

The dress code

Before: whether you were a flares-and-flowers kid of the 70s, or a punk-hair-and-shoulder-pads teen of the 80s, you'd probably spend days – weeks even – planning what to wear with your girl friends so your boy crush will finally come to his senses and talk to you. Swoon!

Now: while we may not need to worry about impressing our boy crush anymore, we still want to look and feel great, so buy yourself a new outfit that makes you feel fabulous (for help, check out our tips on finding the perfect dress for your shape.

Even if you have a sensitive bladder (along with one in three women at some stage in their life), you can wear whatever you want thanks to Always Discreet. The liners, pads and pants are specially designed to absorb urine leaks and odours in seconds, meaning you can look fantastic in whatever you choose to wear with no need to worry about embarrassing leaks.

The music

Before: from disco dancing to Donna Summer to rocking out to The Jam, whatever the era of music, it was blaring out of your parents' speakers so loudly the bass made the windows vibrate and you couldn't hear anyone talk.

Now: this is the one area where we would encourage a bit of nostalgia. Why not root out those old records (or find a playlist on Spotify) and play the tunes you all listened to as teenagers? Just keep the volume on the lower side... at least until the party really starts!

The clean up

Before: Feeling somewhat groggy after the night before, you desperately tried to clean up before your parents got home. You thought you'd done a good job and got away with it… until you heard your full name being yelled out by your Dad when he found his empty bottle of single malt in the hedge. Oh dear.

Now: with no angry parents to worry about you can take your time with the clean-up. Oh, who are we kidding? You've worked hard enough in your lifetime – why not splash out some pro cleaners to do it and put your feet up? You may as well make the most of the perks of being an adult!

Do you have any tips for throwing a grown-up house party? Let us know in the comments section below.

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