Hosting & Toasting – Top 5 Tips

The presents have been unwrapped, the turkey carved and the box of Milk Tray has been eaten down to the second layer… Christmas is well and truly here and the party season is fully underway. Who doesn’t love a good get-together over Christmas, toasting to family and friends? If you are thinking of hosting a party this Christmas, let these tips be your guide to the perfect drinks party!

A Warm Welcome

Set the scene the moment your guest arrive with candlelight and scent. Scented diffusers dotted throughout the house will have your guests in the seasonal mood in no time. Warming scents of cinnamon and clove, notes of pine, nothing says Christmas more than these traditional fragrances. Then simply fill your favourite lanterns with candles, string plenty of fairy lights around and turn the lights down. The cosy atmosphere will scream Christmas, with the added bonus of hiding any dust you may not have gotten a chance to get to!

Festive Music

So easy to do, simply set up a Christmas party playlist on Spotify or Youtube and you won’t need to worry about changing the CD in the middle of a conversation. Hook it up to a wireless Bluetooth speaker and your job is made even easier.  Keep it light and jazzy in the early stages of the night, Michael Bublé, of course, should certainly make an appearance here. If you haven’t heard of Pentatonix, then you need to look these up, perfect for a sophisticated soiree and brimming with seasonal sound. Once the party is well underway, then think Mariah and Shaking Stevens to get everyone in the dancing mood!

  1. Gin-gle all the way

  2. It isn’t a drinks party without a festive cocktail or two. We love a nice gin-based cocktail here at Meadows and Byrne. Classy and sophisticated, but with a little edge, it’s us in a drink really! Christmas is the perfect time to add a little something extra to your party and with our simple and tasty M&B G&T. With Pomegranate and Pink Peppercorns, this delicious cocktail is sure to impress your friends.

  1. Festive Treats

  2. You want to make sure that your guests have something to nibble on, think mini. Everyone is in a permanent state of fullness around Christmas so the last thing they need is another dinner! Break out the mini party food and your guest will thank you for it. This also means less work for you at a time when you deserve to put your feet up too. If you want to wow your guests a little bit,  I love a pimped up cheesy fondue. It looks impressive but is so simple!
  3. Buy boxes of cheese such as brie and camembert that come in wooden containers. Remove the plastic coating, then pop the cheese back in the box. The simply bake in their box as is, or you can add a little bit. I like to pierce little holes into the top of the cheese and poke in slices of garlic, seasoning, and a few sprigs of rosemary. Cranberries would also make a fabulous seasonal addition. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size of your cheese) at around 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4, or until gooey in the middle. Serve with a few fresh baguettes sliced up for dipping. Delicious!

Serve in Style 

  1. You also need to think about the serveware, the final touch to your Christmas party feast. To create a little festive atmosphere, go extra on the serveware.  Choose from glittering gold cocktail plates to tree-shaped side plates for the perfect festive plate. This will mean with minimal effort your guest will feel like you’ve pulled out all the stops this Christmas!


You can find all this and more in our shops nationwide just in time for Christmas 🎄

To view our Christmas opening hours click here


More about Julie

I'm Julie and I have been the Kitchen and Dining Buyer at Meadows and Byrne for over 2 years now. What inspired me to work for M&B and this department in particular? That's easy, a real passion for eating; to eat you must cook and to cook you must have a well stocked kitchen! So a passion has become a career and I have discovered gadgets that I never knew I needed as well as an unnatural enthusiasm for plates! Sustainability and the environment is also something I have a real interest in and I try to always search out the newest Eco-Friendly kitchen solutions. I do believe that a functional kitchen can have a green element in it which I try to promote.

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