Since March 2020, it has been a strange time and affected people in so many ways, which I acknowledge in this post, hasn’t been easy for many.
I always focus on the positive and know I am privileged to live in a safe, comfortable home, I count my blessings every morning.
There has been such initiative during the past few months and I have loved watching what people do to pass the time at home, gardening, decorating, cooking, reading, finding new skills and being creative.
One of our photographers here amazed us all during the lockdown as his hidden talents as a chef appeared, each day he would post up a recipe, take a fab photo and share it with us all. I loved it and keep nagging him to create an e-book as his pizza recipe is one we now do each week. Who knew I would be making homemade pizzas during our lockdown!
Now I thought would be a brilliant time to start sharing some of my inspirations with you as you plan your homes, gardens, parties and gradually your weddings again and what better to start with cocktails for home entertaining or small parties.
One thing I love at weddings and parties are bar carts, cocktail stations and themed bars. I have a beautiful book, gifted to me by my sister, called Bar Cart Style by Emily Henson, if you love bar carts then do buy this book.
It is a brilliant book with different styles of bar carts you can create, lists of things you would need to style a cart and the tools and accessories for cocktail making, plus of course some fabulous cocktail recipes to get you started.
I remember back in the seventies my parents had a bar, it was actually in their sideboard and every time they hosted a dinner party the sideboard was opened up to reveal a lit up bar. It was full of drinks they collected on their travels from Tia Maria, to a strange Kumquat liqueur, creme de la menthe (who remembers this one!) and Advocaat. I used to love a snowball when I was allowed, Advocaat and lemonade if I remember! Not sure I could drink that now though!
This summer we will all be spending more time in our homes so let’s have fun creating some cool ideas for the summer, ready for your small gatherings and outdoor alfresco dining. Make the weekend more entertaining by planning a cocktail and dressing up your bar carts ready to prepare the cocktail of the week.
I love this alfresco bar cart from Emily Henderson for the patio or terrace.
Simply decorated with bowls of lemons and limes, a pretty floral arrangement and some lanterns it is a pretty statement for any terrace and of course houses wine, perfect as a serving station when entertaining your guests. Add in some fairy lights, such as pretty hanging lightbulbs,and your terrace will become a magical place to entertain.
If you are going to create a permanent area of your home into a bar cart corner consider decorating the walls too with some bar lights, there are some fabulous marquee styles ones here, or use a light box to write your message in and display on your bar cart. Announce the cocktail of the week!
If you fancy something a bit more retro then why not buy a neon sign to display such as this one.
Don’t forget if you are entertaining at home this summer it is always fun too to create some menus on Canva, print them out and display them either in a frame or on each place setting. Have a bit of creativity entertaining this year as every occasion now is a special occasion.
Depending on your style you can go dark and moody or bright and light, maybe choose a theme such as a Mexican theme if you are hosting a tequila or mojito night, maybe you are hosting a tapas and sangria evening, think about all the details you can create to really give your gathering the wow factor that your guests will love. Often just little touches make such a difference when entertaining, from napkins to the plates and glasses you use.
If you love this idea and would like some inspiration then do get my sister’s Bar Cart Style book, it has different themes and the Queen of Cocktails, aka sister, has drinks to match each theme.