Elegant Parties – Cocktail Party Ideas and More

Out of all the parties, the cocktail party is one of my favorites, especially one that precedes the elegant dinner party.

Cocktail parties are light-hearted, fun gatherings where one can be glamorously
attired yet feel at ease with its casual, relaxed atmosphere. They make great environments for conversation
especially when guests have delicious drinks in their hands. These elegant parties are great for catching up
with a bunch of friends
all at once, as well as a great place to get to meet new people. You are free to move around and mingle too.

Of course, the ladies like it because they get a chance to wear their pretty cocktail dresses that they may have saved
for elegant occasions like this.
Because a cocktail party is meant for mingling, most people stand up and hold their drinks and talk.

The Cocktail Party

Most cocktail parties start at 6 or after work. They can range to a size of fifteen to a hundred people.

The cocktail party is usually a lighter, more flexible affair than the dinner party.

It’s about stand up, mingling and socializing, not sit down, be stuck in one corner and be served. So don’t be a poor guest, lest you do not get invited the next time.

It is not recommended that you bring a guest without first asking a host. Though in some the cocktail parties, it does not matter if guests bring an extra guest.

It’s not about the food, and there’s music, ambience, wonderful conversation. There’s some chemistry about a cocktail party.

The Cocktail

A cocktail is a mixed drink with a spirit base. It was traditionally served before the sun goes down.

Cocktails were at its height of popularity from the 1920s-1930s. It is still a popular drink served from cocktail hour (before dinner) until
the wee hours in the night. You can order a cocktail almost anywhere now, from a bar to a hotel lounge, clubs and even in some restaurants.
Traditionally, cocktails now has lost its glitz and glamour as it was in the 1920s – 1930s.

As Princess Diana, Paull Burrell says in his book, In the Royal Manner
he writes about cocktail parties,

“There is something rather decadent and yet attractive about cocktail hour.
Visions of men in black ties and ladies wearing spectacular gowns come to mind. Even Scarlett O’Hara
can be witnessed sipping a Mint Julep in Gone with the Wind. This concoction of sugar syrup mixed with bourbon
and garnished with mint is still served today, and is traditionally linked with the Kentucky Derby.”

What To Serve at A Cocktail Party

  • Cocktails, soft drinks and also an option for non gassy drinks.
  • Sophisticated finger foods variety
  • A variety of dips and carrots, celery, asparagus etc etc
  • Assortment of crackers
  • Bowls of mixtures of nuts and such
  • Sushi rolls, Vietnamese rolls etc
  • What To Wear to a Cocktail Party

    Semi formal to formal medium short to long dresses.

    If you are all heading for a night at the opera after, wear elegant evening gowns.

    Madness, Refinement, Effort & Heartbeats

    Adapted from this book about French women entertaining… Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl

    One of the objectives of Danielle’s parties was not so much the meal itself but the people present at the table and their collective energy – refined but chaotic, animated and fashionably argumentative.

    In the preface to ‘At Home in France’ Marie-Helene de Rothschild speaks of French entertaining: “…however rich or poor one is, certain ingredients are essential: a pinch of madness, two dashes of refinement, three grains of effort – and a few heart-beats.”

    By the time the third course arrived the sky had turned a gauzy white and seemed to be spinning. Too much wine? No…snow! Conversation hushed as we watched the snow tumbling silently in feather-soft spirals and elegant loops against the tower. It was all so exquisitely French: At once imposing yet familiar, a beautiful thing that was utterly impractical yet impossible to live without.

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