Host a girls night in
Staying in on NYE isn’t just for couples. Get your favourite girlfriends round and select the best films featuring New Year’s Eve you can lay your hands on – we like When Harry Met Sally (we still miss you, Carrie Fisher), Bridget Jones’s Diary and for something a little less rom-com Boogie Nights. Make sure to provide vast amounts of popcorn (while we like the old-school idea of popping a bag in the microwave, we’re also rather partial to Joe & Seph’s more luxe flavours), rum-spiked hot chocolate with all the toppings and – for the ultimate film night – a round of pizzas (in London we like Yard Sale and Pizza Pilgrims best). For an added treat, call in the mobile beauty therapists at Secret Spa or Perfect 10 to treat yourself and your guests to facials, manicures and pedicures. Tell everyone to bring their best PJs and turn the night into a retro sleepover – with a stylish twist. An extra plus? You’ll wake up feeling fresh – and will kick off the year looking great.
Throw a black-tie dinner party
At the very opposite end of the spectrum, why not get your guests to dress up in the most extravagant garbs they own as you host a black-tie party. To make this as stress-free as possible, ask that everyone invited brings a dish of their own to the party (best to coordinate this in advance, just in case you end up with three meat lasagnes and nothing for the veggie). All you need to do is serve and make sure everyone’s fizz is topped up at all times. And relax.
Hire a helping hand
If you want to keep the cooking to a minimum for everyone, then call in the caterers. At SheerLuxe we’re a big fan of The Hill Food Company, Sushi Rolls, Chilli Bees, The Social Pantry and Tart London, who’ll all be able to whip up a tasty selection of canapés and mains for the big night. Alternatively, we love Mount Street Deli’s takeaway dishes, which range from a J Sheekey fish pie and 34 Mayfair’s chicken tikka masala to The Ivy’s shepherd’s pie. For an even quicker win, the Sainsbury’s sushi counter will more than do the job. The best part? Minimal washing up when you’re feeling fragile on New Year’s Day.
Have a games night
Everyone loves a quiz. The best way to keep this enjoyable as the host? Opt out of being quizmaster and ask everyone attending to bring their own round. Decide in advance – essential categories include a picture round, film round, guess the adverts, general knowledge (a pack of Trivial Pursuit cards always helps here) and a themed music round. If you’ve got more than five guests attending – or fancy a full-on pub quiz extravaganza – extra categories can include a blind tasting – of anything from wine to unusual crisps flavours – plus an extra-difficult puzzle, which must be completed by teams over the duration of the quiz.
If general knowledge isn’t your thing, get everyone to bring their favourite boardgames (or any new ones they received for Christmas) and wait for everyone’s competitive nature to kick in. For something a little sillier than Cluedo or Taboo, we’re a big fan of Twerk Pong, where two participants each tie a box filled with ping pong balls around their waists and twerk until they empty the box. Mortifying, yet unifying, you might be surprised at who ends up the victor.
Call in cocktail makers
If getting boozy is high on your NYE agenda, get the party started by bringing the bar to you. Call in the pros to do the hard work for you, while you sit back, get ready and enjoy yourself with your guests – hiring your very own mobile bartender service (we really rate Coxtails) will give your celebration that wow-factor, with minimal effort from you. Once they’ve gone, simply pop open the bubbly. Easy.
Put a fondue set on your Christmas list
Yes, you might have overdone it on the cheese over Christmas and Boxing Day, but there’s nothing cosier than throwing a fondue party. Get the cheese on the boil and make sure to stock up on plenty of crusty bread, cornichons and new potatoes. Alternatively, invest in a raclette machine. Place in the centre of the table and get everyone to melt their own Swiss cheese before pouring it over their charcuterie of choice. Interactive, plus a perfect excuse to crack open that bottle of red you’ve been saving for a special occasion.
Organise a safari party
This is a great one if you live near friends. Split dinner party courses into drinks and canapés; starters; mains; and desserts and divide among your (geographically) closest friends. Kick off the night with drinks and nibbles at the first guest’s house before taking in a tour from home to home, devouring a course at each place as you go. This way, guests only need to cook one dish each, everyone shares the burden of planning and cleaning the next day – plus you’ll get the feeling of having been out all night, when really you’ve had multiple nights in.