"When hosting a gathering presentation is key. I love to try a variety of new dishes and always make sure the food served is not only delicious, but also looks meticulous as well."
The English poet William Cowper said that, “Variety is the spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.” Which can certainly pertain to hosting a memorable party, too. Why stick to one type of food, one style of music and one color scheme at your party, when there is so much abundance, flavor and beauty all around us.
When thinking about decor, use a spectrum of colors to decorate your party space and the serving table. Use items, lights, candles and textures—of different colors—to create a visually alluring atmosphere. Same with music—don’t stick with one particular genre. Instead, make a playlist encompassing many singers, bands and types of music. You could have mellow music for when guests arrive, a different type for dinner, then more upbeat music for postprandial festivities. As the night is winding down, turn to something mellow again. The mood of the party will be inspired by all the songs you chose and your guests will enjoy the musical variety.
Variety most definitely applies to the food, too, which is often the focal point of a party. To entice your guests’ senses and tastebuds, plan a menu with a wide spectrum of flavors, colors and ingredients. Use colorful fruits and vegetables, an array of spices, and different textures in your recipes. You could serve platters of several different hors d’oeuvres and also set up a few stations: sushi (lots of different rolls), raw bar (lobster, oysters, shrimp and clams), crackers (many types) and cheese (several kinds). Or when everyone sits down to dine at the dining table, serve a variety of appetizers and entrées so that guests can choose from the impressive array of options. With the wide variety of lush purple, orange, yellow and red fruits and vegetables, your dishes will look amazing. Counter that with leafy green salads topped with edible flowers and thinly sliced colorful vegetables for added variety.
For drinks you should absolutely have a few options for guests, for everyone has their own taste. Serve both sparkling and flat water, gather ingredients for several cocktail recipes, and serve a variety of red and white wine of varying vintages and countries—and of course for beer lovers, serve wellchilled Stella Artois, which pairs well with a wide variety of food and flavors.
So the next time you’re planning to have friends over, keep variety in mind when it comes to atmosphere, food and drink. It’s a definite way to appeal to your guests’ senses—and to create a stunning gathering everyone will enjoy and remember.
Photographer EMILY BLINCOE was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She find inspiration in faces, shapes, colors, light as well as the quiet little moments. Most days, she can be found wandering in the tall grass somewhere between her favorite cities—Austin and Nashville—with her dog, Eleanor.
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