Table decoration

Table decoration for a cocktail party at home

Cocktail parties are a perfect formula for friends’ gatherings and, with the arrival of the good weather, the perfect spot for this type of celebration is the terrace or garden. Variety of drinks, something to eat, music and table decoration, mix all the ingredients to make a unique atmosphere!

Cocktail parties are a perfect formula for friends’ gatherings and, with the arrival of the good weather, the perfect spot for this type of celebration is the terrace or garden. Variety of drinks, something to eat, music and table decoration, mix all the ingredients to make a unique atmosphere!

What are cocktail parties?

Generally cocktail parties are organised in the afternoon and the main characteristic is that, unlike a supper or dinner, there is not a big table to sit around. Standing up encourages sociability among the guests and simplifies the organisation of the event for the host.
Nevertheless, we should be aware that:

  • The guests are not going to be standing all the time. It is important to have chairs and armchairs to sit on.
  • As the name suggests, the drinks are the soul of the party but are not everything. They must be accompanied by some food that can be eaten comfortably standing.
  • There are a great variety of celebrations of this type, from the more formal (often related to corporate events) to other which are more fun, like the ones we can hold at home.
  • Even in a more informal and relaxed gathering, as hosts we cannot slack on the table decoration. It is a very important element, from both an aesthetic and functional point of view.

The tables

As we explain in an earlier article (Cotton napkins to dress the table of your terrace or garden), the furnishing for exterior spaces must have some specific characteristics to resist the weather. From an aesthetic point of view, if we want to create a relaxing atmosphere we must go for natural materials (such as wood or wicker) and, in case of having plastic, aluminium or iron tables and chairs, it will be even more important to have cushions, plaids, covers… that help us dress them with this more personal touch. The colour of the fabrics must combine with the cotton napkins and other elements of the table decoration.

Unlike a dinner or supper, with the big table and traditional chairs, at cocktail parties we use sofas, armchairs and lower tables, or we can also go for the total opposite: high aperitif-type tables.

Placemats and cotton napkins

In a cocktail party, where there are not piles of spoons or forks, you must have the cotton napkins so that the guests can enjoy the meal comfortably and cleanly. For these types of celebrations we recommend using smaller size cotton napkins (11×11 cm and 20×20 cm), since they are practical for holding with one hand but also absorbent and pleasant to touch.

The colours and design of the cotton napkins must be in harmony with the rest of the elements of the table decoration: placemats, cutlery and crockery, candles… With this in mind we encourage you to consult our article Creative ideas with your cotton napkin.

Below we go through some of the MY DRAP collections you can choose for the table decoration in your cocktail party.

Blue Night and Wave: a touch of distinction

 width=The Blue Night collection is perfect for a night-time cocktail party. With an elegant fade in blue and black, it brings us freshness and glamour to our celebrations and gatherings. It includes cotton napkins in two different sizes, of 11×11 cm and 20×20 cm, ideal for using as coasters or to accompany aperitifs.

For decorating auxiliary tables (where you place the food and drink) you can combine the cotton napkins with placemats of different colours: the black and blue will help you create a harmonious, sober and sophisticated whole, but you can also be bold with brighter colours such as orange to create a more cheerful and festive atmosphere.

Newspaper, Vermut&Tapas, Picnic Gingham Red: informal aperitifs

 width=If you are thinking about organising a cocktail party in the afternoon you can also rely on different cotton napkins of 11×11 cm y 20×20 cm with original patterns.

The Newspaper collection, with newspaper articles on your cotton napkins, offer us a different way of reading (and commenting on) the news while we are eating something. A fun formula that, without the slightest doubt, will stimulate conversation among the guests 😉

In this case, if you want to combine it with placemats, we recommend you match with the natural color or black, to create a chromatic continuity with the cotton napkins.

The Vermut&Tapas collection, with the classic design of the traditional bars, is the perfect idea for your more nostalgic gatherings. And if you ask yourself how you can give a more rustic air to your cocktail party, the answer will undoubtedly be the Picnic Gingham Red collection, with the traditional red and white check on your cotton napkins.

And if that wasn’t enough, take a look at all our designs and the Basics collection, with more than twenty shades of colour to choose from! Variety of blues, greys, water greens… to play with the table decoration and create a perfect atmosphere in your summer nights.

Drinks and menu

Mojito, Bloody Mary, Kir Royal… although the list of cocktails is endless (there are so many combos what can we make?), the truth is that some combinations have become icons. You can make the most of this when organising your cocktail party at home and:

  • Prepare, in advance and in quantity, a mixed drink that will be the star of the event. To ensure the success, you should logically take into account your guests’ preferences 😉
  • Also offer other drinks that, without doubt, will help refresh and liven up an event of this type: variety of beers, wines, basic spirits (whisky, gin, tequila…).

According to the degree of formality (and your priorities as host), you can hire some waiters to serve the drinks or let the guests prepare their combos themselves. Oh, and an important tip: don’t forget to buy the ice! In a cocktail it ends sooner than you think 🙂

Regarding the food, as we have said the main characteristic of the cocktail is that the guests are standing, so it is recommendable to tend towards aperitifs and recipes easy to eat with one hand. Below we share some ideas that may be useful when drawing up the menu:

  • Know your limits. If you don’t hire a professional caterer or have other people who can help you with the menu, then simplify. It is important that during the cocktail party you are enjoying the company of your guests (and not waiting on a dish that is in the oven).
  • Sandwiches will be more than welcome! They are the perfect formula for making both guests and host happy. Although initially they may seem a rather unglamorous option, remember that we currently have a large variety of breads (in terms of flavours and forms), as well as cheeses, vegetables, nuts, sauces… with which you can create the most delicious combinations. Remember to include vegan options 😉
  • Take care of the presentations. Beyond the table decorations, the way we present the food will undoubtedly mark the impression the guests will have. The skewers, slices of crusty bread, mini pizzas or mini cupcakes… are practical and attractive options to amaze everyone.
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