Wednesday, 28 September 2011

How To Have The Perfect Vintage Party: Food And Entertainment

Ready To Party
So in yesterdays blog I showed you how I decorated the house and garden for my husbands vintage inspired birthday party. Today its all about, food, drink and song.As my better half is all about the Rock n Roll I wanted to inject a little bit of that theme into the food as well.Although I'm a fairly nifty baker my friend recently used a company called Cupcake Revolution to create some great tattoo themed cupcakes and I just couldn't resist. I worked with Helen from the company to create some superb cupcakes. My husbands favourite band is The Straycats so she made some cakes with the bands logo on and others in the shape of records with Arista on as that was the label the Straycats were signed to in the UK (its all about the details) she also made some tattoo inspired cakes with hearts and swallows on and of course some pin up girls (which I insisted had dark hair with a blond streak in as a nod to moi)
The Personalised Cupcakes
I stacked my fabulous personalised cupcakes on one of my many cake stands 

I knew those cake stands would come in handy
I think when you invite people to your home you should offer lots of lovely food. It helps mop up the drink and there is nothing quite as sad as getting to an event to find a few pathetic bowls of crisps. In my experience people tend to predominately want food they can eat with their fingers. With this in mind I made dainty little sandwiches in the shape of teapots and teacups with a cookie cutter. Bite sized and so pretty.

Sandwiches in the shape of teacups-Only at BB Towers

You may have noticed that I have stuck little flags into each plate of food with a description on. This is because I think its really important people know what they are eating. they may be vegetarian, have an allergy or just really dislike a certain food so its good manners to ensure they know exactly what they are eating.
Betty Bee's Buffet
For buffets I do tend to become slightly like the mother character in Mermaids played by Cher and make everything mini and if possible on a cocktail stick but experience has taught me that these are the foods which go down best. I always ensure there is a good selection of vegetarian options and yes I do always include cheese and pineapple on sticks stuck in a melon covered in foil.

Baths of Beer

Ensuring everyone has a cold drink in their hands at all times is surely one of the most important aspects of hosting a party. I keep on top of this by filling an old tin bath in my garden with ice and stocking it with beer. All drinks (apart from red wine) brought by guests get put in it and a cold beer is never far away. To stop the irritating "hunt the bottle opener" moment that is the curse of many a good party I tie bottle openers to the handles of the bath with string.

The amazing drum riser cake

One way of keeping party stress down is to encourage people to "fuddle". I'm not sure if anyone else apart from my family do this but a fuddle is when each guest brings one dish (usually one they are particularly proud of) to add to the buffet. Its great fun and means you get a lovely selection of food to add to the spread you have also laid on. For Mister Bees party my sister in law who is from Thailand made a quite magnificent curry, my friend Helen brought hand made tortilla chips with guacamole, my friend Jo even brought home made black pepper pickled onions which were delicious.Probably the piece De Resistance in the fuddle stakes though was the cake my friend Chris made for Nick. As my husband is a keen drummer (he even has a drum kit in our kitchen) he created a drum riser cake with his favourite Straycats logo on the front. Chris has just launched his own cake making company called Strongman cakes and I think he is going to do incredibly well.
Mister Bee enjoying one of the cupcakes
If you get your guest list right you shouldn't need to lay on too much in the way of entertainment. I always make up an ipod playlist of good tunes and for the kids fill a pinata with sweets (bashing it takes at least half an hour and seem to always go down very well)
One thing I insist on though is that anyone who can sing or play something brings fine voice and if possible an instrument along and we have a big sing song. I have a piano and a drum kit in the kitchen anyway and we always end up with a new super group forming. The drunker people get the happier they are to jump on the piano or play a tambourine. Two lovely friends of ours Mark and Rooster are very talented on the double bass and guitar so they played some songs accompanied by my friend Mark who is in the amazing Teddy Boy band Furious on piano. Mister Bee always takes up drumming duty of course.Here they are jamming away.

For this party we were blown away by our friend Alexis and her daughter Asha who both have the most beautiful voices and ripped through classic like "hit the road jack" as well as a bit of Imelda May. It was superb. As a host though even if you have no discernible talent (me) you have to be at the front belting it out with them. its the law.
So those are my tips for  a perfect vintage inspired party. What do you like to do to make your events really special?


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