A How To Guide: How to throw a successful party

a how to guide

Having your friend’s round to show off your house and forcing them into have a “good time” is always a great idea. Your friends will be flattered and charmed by your collection of china frogs and won’t laugh at all when they see you do your shopping at Lidl. They also won’t all get together without you the next day to moan about how rubbish it was. Here is a how to guide on having a party.


Happily invite all of your friends with little or no regard as to whether they will actually get on.  Your best friend won’t mind at all when she spends 6 hours of the party pinned against a wall by an overweight man called Clive who seems to sweat curry sauce and lager and is convinced that everyone is very interested in the world of stamp collecting.

Dinner party guests should also be mixed with the same scant disregard. Occasionally you will be on a winner (a Sydney Smith type party full of witticisms such as “Madam, I have been looking for a person who disliked gravy all my life; let us swear eternal friendship.”) What is probably more likely is that each person will be lumbered sitting next to a person they can’t really stand and find themselves either bored to tears or being flirted with in a manner than can only be described as sexual aggression.  Not a problem- simply take evasive action. By which I mean, get very drunk.

It’ll be lovely to see who throws a drink in someone’s face first, as you casually mix your crazy liberal lentil powered peace bicycle friend from university called Moon with your new friend from work, Trent Ryder, who drives a Hummer, thinks a holiday only counts if you fly somewhere and whose biggest expense in life is paying for his wife’s breast augmentations. You can just sit back and let the thank you cards roll in.


Putting on a sketch will be hilarious, yes, yes, do it. Ditto making your friends watch you sing or making your friends watch your children’s band. (I thought Dazzer and the Dudes had a smash hit on their hands with “I Want to Put my Hand Up Your Skirt Girl”.)

Any party games that no-one actually wants to play are a wise idea- anything that makes guests inappropriately touch each other is always a plus.  It’s always brilliant as well playing the endlessly hilarious Charades. Nothing says “this was a great party” like an incredibly inebriated man trying to mime  “Z Cars.”

You should always be the first one to suggest a highly unsuitable game, particularly if there are a lot of couples. Truth or Dare is wonderful- once Julia admits to the room at large she slept with David’s Father, repeatedly, this is going to be a party that won’t easily be forgotten.

Food and Drink

I suppose this part is reasonably straightforward. If you’re having a party, then sweaty food on sticks are always the way to go- show your humorous side by turning the grapefruit you use to secure sticks of cheese and pineapple on into a little hedgehog, and point this out to everyone who comes near the buffet.

Highly impractical food that simply cannot be eaten on a paper plate with gossamer thin plastic cutlery is a great laugh- soggy egg salad, steak, uncut cherry tomatoes, greasy and probably undercooked chicken drumsticks. If you are having a barbecue, please do not forget your incredibly amusing apron and offer meat in only two options- completely burnt and barely warm.

If you are having a dinner party it’s always best to lean towards stuff that most people don’t like- prawns, peanuts, spinach, goat’s cheese, that kind of thing. It would be rude to pester your guests for any allergies so it’s best just to not ask and then get really offended when they won’t eat your cooking.  Portion control is a big thing, and it’s good to veer between offensively small and scarily large.

Dinner parties are very stressful and I would highly recommend dealing with stress by drinking large quantities of the only decent wine you purchased, leaving your guests with the vile pickling vinegar plonk that you bought for emergencies. A drunken chef is a good chef, always, and yes I did mean to flambé this sponge cake.

Alcohol for a larger party should be done at the last moment. Buy beer and wine and spirits, run out and then raid the back of the cabinet for the forgotten horrors. Your guests will be overjoyed to accept a Ginger Wine on ice or Cinzano Bianco and coke. The hangover the next morning after drinking these filthy concoctions will feel like a brick to the face but at least you can tell Aunty Nora how much you enjoyed the bottle of what simply had to be paint stripper she brought back from Cyprus.


Don’t be shy with breaking out the fabulous songs you have on your MP3 player. Charles and Eddie, Pat Benatar, The Black Eyed Peas, Mike Oldfield,CrazyTown, the list goes on. Nothing says to your friends “I am one young hep cat” than some liquid drum and bass, even if all your friends are well into their fifties. Yeah. Rock On.

You could go for a healthy mix of something suitably anodyne and relatively inoffensive like The XX, Air, or Zero 7, but no, let’s not be dull. It’s never a bad time for some Rob Zombie or Cannibal Corpse. Let’s be different.

Dress Code

It’s always great to tell at least one friend its fancy dress simply for your own amusement. It’s nice to see who dresses like a tramp, like a tart, like they an epileptic llama did their make up and outfit choice and so forth. Judge your friends people, they will like it.

It’s always lovely for the poor person who didn’t know whether it was smart or casual and whose phone calls you endlessly ignored too. She won’t feel at all like a sore thumb when she turns up in a beautiful dress and heels to a sea of jeans and trainers. It’s fine. It’s all fine.

I hope your party is a raging success. When you wake up the next morning, please firstly go to the downstairs bathroom and carefully remove the friend who has fallen asleep cuddled around the toilet bowl. Please remove their vomit encrusted shirt and swap for a clean one, pop them in a taxi and wave them goodbye. Well done.

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About Sarah 172 Articles
Down at heels, music obsessed girl who works in admin. Frequently found talking nonsense on audio blogs, writing nonsense on written blogs or when the internet is down, talking to herself. Life lurches from one disaster to another, but at least it's amusing. I like cats and rats. My fear is they will one day form an allegiance and take over the world. You saw it here first.