Before Big Ben bongs, and a far from accurate rendition of Auld Lang Syne rings out led by uncle Derek, how will you have celebrated the final hours of the year? Whether it’s been one to remember or you’re glad to see the back of it, here are some top tips for how to host a New Year party. From New Year’s Eve decorations to drinks, and ideas for your celebratory midnight menu, read on and find everything you need at your local convenience store.
New Year’s Eve Party Themes to Thrill
It’s an occasion that is celebrated worldwide, so there’s plenty of competition for attendees at your soirée. If your party is going to stand out from the others and create memories for your guests that last long into spring, you’ll want to come up with the best New Year’s Eve party theme. There are a whole ‘host’ to choose from! Here are just a few of our favourites:
Around the world: we may not all celebrate it at the exact same time, but midnight on the 31st December wherever you are, means the same thing. So why not bring the world to your lounge? Suggest fancy dress costumes or dress code which represent different cultures. Your New Year’s Eve decorations could include images and merchandise of local landmarks, or maps. How about celebrating the birth place of Auld Lang Syne with a Scottish, Tartan adorned theme? For a personal twist, you could even choose the countries based on holidays you’ve been on in the year that is coming to an end.
Pop and fizz: we’re celebrating, so bring out a few bottles of the fizzy stuff. Decorate your room with Champagne coloured décor, serve a fine selection of Champagne and Prosecco (such as SPAR Valdobbiadene Prosecco) and ask your guests to dress in the finest eveningwear fit for any posh wine bar. Feel like celebrities and add a touch of class to your celebration – you could also serve up some delicious Champagne based New Year’s cocktails – read on for some recipes.
Midnight feast: many of us see the turning of the year as the line in the sand on healthy eating. But in the final hours of the year where anything still goes, why not have one last feast full of sin? Ask your guests beforehand about their guilty food pleasures and create a belly busting buffet - perhaps southern fried chicken, battered fish and chips, macaroni cheese and slice after slice of chocolate fudge cake? As it’s one last lazy pig out, you could go with a dress code of pyjamas and loungewear too.
These are just a few New Year’s Eve party themes, but there are hundreds to choose from – black and white, western, Hollywood themed or one last chance to get your Christmas jumpers out. Once you know your theme, it will give you a steer on your menu, too.
Munching ‘til Midnight: New Year’s Eve Party Food Ideas
There’s usually plenty of alcohol and other drinks consumed at New Year’s Eve parties and you’ll want to offer up some food that will whip up a thirst and help absorb your glass’ contents too. Your theme will have a huge say in what you serve up, especially if you choose the midnight feast suggestion above. However, typically you’ll be wanting to give your guests the chance to graze throughout the night – after all, your party is guaranteed to go on into the early hours!
There are a few classic party essentials to stock up on such as crisps and dips, nuts, cocktail sausages, salad and garlic bread. But as a New Year party spans the traditional evening meal time and the late-night snack window, canapes are ideal to see off guest hunger. Some of the best New Year’s Eve menu ideas include:
Bacon wrapped new potatoes: boil up 500g of new potatoes until tender, then drain and cool. Carefully scoop a small amount of potato from each spoon in some cream cheese. Lay out some streaky bacon, season with a little pepper and roll around each potato. Add to an oiled frying pan over medium heat until your bacon is crisp and potatoes golden.
Mini cheese and ham toasties: cheese toasties are a classic late night after party snack – these mini versions make delicious New Year’s Eve party food. Take some granary bread and fill with brie, parma ham and onion chutney. Cut into quarters and serve as canapes.
Avocado dippers: Perfect for vegetarian guests. To serve 16, take a large bowl and add 400g of plain flour mixed with 8tsp of salt and 4-5tsp of paprika if you like it hot! Crush three sharing sized bags of tortilla chips and pour them into another bowl. Crack six eggs into a third bowl and lay the three bowls out on your work top. De-stone, peel and slice lengthways six avocados that are just ripe and not too soft. Dip the slices into your flour, egg and finally your tortilla chips. Repeat the process twice then add them to a grill pan and grill for a few minutes per side until crisp. Serve with salsa.
If these don’t whet your appetite, why not check out or suggestions for party platters?
Raise a Glass to the New Year with New Year’s Cocktails
Theme and food are sorted, so now onto the drinks. Here are a selection of New Year’s cocktails and easy punch recipes to try this year and just into next…
Champagne punch: mix together 750ml of Champagne, the juice of three lemons, 10oz of white sugar, 200ml of SPAR Dark Rum, a litre of cognac, and the zest of three oranges. Serve in a large bowl and top with orange slices. Perfect if you chose the Pop and Fizz theme!
New year fire: as you’d expect with such a name, this cocktail packs some heat! To make each serving, take some tall glasses and press together 22ml of lime juice, 15ml of golden syrup and six mint leaves. Add 60ml of SPAR Glen Dhu Whisky and crushed ice. Top with 15ml of Campari per glass and serve.
Midnight SPARkle: this sparkling wine cooler offers a lower ABV level than the above and is a perfect choice to see your guests through the long evening. Per serving you will need 60ml of sparkling Rosé, 15ml of elderflower cordial, and 30ml of cranberry juice. Mix together in a flute glass and serve.
For other cocktail ideas, visit our blog.
As the Year Ends, Play New Year’s Eve Games for Family and Friends
Though it sounds like heaven, you and your guests can’t spend all night dancing, drinking and eating. Especially for younger guests, as they are going to need some stimulation if they have any chance of staying up to see the new year arrive. Here are a few New Year’s Eve games for families to play:
Pass the hat: Sit all your guests in a circle and give one member the special New Year hat – it can be one you make yourself or a sparkly top hat bought from a shop. The objective of the game is to pass the hat from head to head without hands – each member who drops the hat is eliminated until only one winner remains.
Cotton ball race: This one can get a little messy but it’s great fun. Stand in a line, two teams of six. Across the room are two large bowls, one per team. In front of the teams are a bowl of cotton wool balls and a tub of Vaseline. On the shout of “go”, the person at the front of the line dabs their nose with Vaseline and puts it into the bowl of cotton balls. They stick a ball to their nose and race to the bowl at the other end of the room depositing their ball. They go back to the end of their line and the next player goes. The winning team is the one that collects the most balls in two minutes.
Guess the resolution: As guests arrive, ask them to write their new year’s resolution and name on a slip of paper. At some point during the night, these are read out and guests are asked to write the name of the author. Whoever gets the most correct answers wins.
See in the New Year in Style, with SPAR
We hope this has given you plenty of New Year’s Eve party ideas. Whether your party has been long in the planning or you are on a tight deadline, your local convenience store is on hand for all your party food, drinks and the odd spot prize for your games.
Happy New Year, from SPAR.
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