April 27, 2011. Written by Agnes Los
Looking for a little inspiration for a themed party? We’ve got 21 amazing ideas, plus everything you need to give your celebration that special touch! Plus, for more great party ideas, see our fantastic party guide.
The idea: Elegant summer dining, with a touch of rustic chic.
Decoration: Adorn tables with white linen or gingham tablecloths, vintage tableware and delicate lanterns. Tie napkins with raffia and fill vases with country flowers. Thread fairy lights through the trees and use hurricane lamps to line pathways.
Food & drink: Serve simple grilled food and colourful salads, with an abundance of fresh fruit and cream for pudding. Champagne or chilled white wine is a must, along with elderflower cordial as a non-alcoholic option.
The idea: Think deserts, sand dunes, rich fabrics and soothing music. This is the perfect party for a summer evening.
Decoration: Decorate the room like a harem with an abundance of cushions and drapes. If you’re really going for it, you might even consider having a glamorous Bedouin tent, with flame torches lighting the way to the entrance. Candlelight is a must as the sun goes down. Add some fun by asking your female guests to dress as belly dancers!
Food & drink: Serve delicious, spicy meat dishes with rice, and rich, creamy cocktails. Of course a little Turkish Delight on the side wouldn’t go amiss!
The idea: A party in the true sense of the word – this is all about great music and lots of dancing.
Decoration: Of course the most important thing here is to have a good dance floor. If you want to splash out, book a live band. Otherwise, decorate with silhouette cut outs of jazz musicians playing the saxophone and photos of jazz musicians. Small tables around the side of the room with candles are the perfect place between dances.
Food & drink: It’s sleek cocktails all the way, from Martinis to Cosmopolitans. Keep energy levels high with plenty of substantial canapés.
The idea: Who needs the sunshine when you can bring it to your home!
Decoration: Well you can’t be expected to create a beach, but you can stick to the great outdoors, dress in brightly-coloured clothes and perhaps hire in the odd palm tree? Have a steel band playing or plenty of Bob Marley CDs and a limbo stick to provide endless laughs.
Food & drink: Serve big, bright cocktails, Caribbean-style fish in coconut milk and lots of fresh fruit. Failing that, a barbecue will go down a treat.
The idea: Based on the classic 1940′s movie, this is pure romance. Perhaps a party to celebrate Valentine’s Day…
Decoration: Deck the place out like Rick’s Café with palm trees and cocktails. You could even have a pianist playing As Time Goes By and other 40s favourites. And, of course, make guests must dress as Humphrey Bogart with the ladies as Ingrid Bergman.
Food & drink: Only champagne will do!
The idea: It’s Hawaii time. Think grass skirts, leis, silk flowers and dancing.
Decoration: If you can find an outdoor pool, there’s no better place than poolside. Failing that, stay outside and decorate with shells, sand, and palm trees, with Hawaiian music playing in the background.
Food & drink: If you’re being traditional, you should serve kalua pig (cooked in an underground oven), lomi salmon and poke (a fish salad). But fish, sweet potatoes, pineapples, rice etc. will do perfectly, along with beer and tropical drinks.
The idea: We all think fondly of our younger days, so why not recreate a little of the fun as adults?
Decoration: School uniform is the dress-code, and the room should be adorned with simple, fun decorations – helium balloons and plenty of party poppers. Games on the list include sardines, spin the bottle and truth-or-dare!
Food & drink: Serve the classics – sandwiches, sausage rolls, cheese and pineapple and cake. You can always add an adult twist to your jelly and ice cream by adding a little vodka to the jelly!
The idea: It’s time for a little harmless gambling -Vegas style.
Decoration: Call in the services of a fun casino company who will set up blackjack tables and roulette wheels. Many will also supply fake money and croupiers. This is all about glamour, so set a dress code for your guests.
Food & drink: Elegant cocktails and canapés. You could even name cocktails after casino games… The Blackjack, The Baccarat etc.
The idea: A glamorous, black-tie ball with the extra twist in that everyone arrives wearing a mask.
Decoration: Keep it simple and chic – letting the ornate masks speak for themselves!
Food & drink: Skip the food, this is all about elegant dancing and cocktails.
The idea: Take a little inspiration from the Big Apple.
Decoration: Black and silver make a perfect Manhattan colour scheme. Watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s for plenty of ideas!
Food & drink: Hot dogs, pretzels and Lindy’s cheesecake give a perfect New York feast. You could even make a cake from a tower of Krispy Kreme donuts.
The idea: One for the girls, this is an excuse to watch soppy films and gossip the night away.
Decoration: None necessary – although you will need to employ the services of a manicurist and masseuse.
Food & drink: Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate… and perhaps some popcorn and champagne.
The idea: Record plenty of horse-racing and make up race meeting cards. Appoint a bookmaker and bet on each race using Monopoly money.
Decoration: Add a little amusement by asking your guests to dress for Ladies Day at Ascot.
Food & drink: Go glam with champagne and strawberries, or keep it simple with fish & chips!
The idea: This is James Bond style – time to dress up and go for full on sophistication.
Decoration: Anything, so long as it’s stylish! Think candlelight and classy music. You could even hire a few waiters to serve your guests.
Food & drink: Cocktails, obviously! Spend some time experimenting with the cocktail mixes and have a go at creating your own bespoke party cocktail. Food should take the form of delicious, delicate, bite-size canapés.
The idea: Yee Hah! Dust off the cowboy hats, checked shirts and snakeskin boots. Play old Country and Western favourites and add a band and caller for some square dancing.
Decoration: A barn is the perfect location, and even better if you can fill it with a few hay bales. Invitations can come in the form of a WANTED poster.
Food & drink: Hotdogs and steak provide the perfect snack, washed down with a cool beer and jugs of lemonade.
The idea: We all love a bit of Eurovision. Best played on the night of the Eurovision Song Contest. Do your own voting and select your own winner.
Decoration: Allocate a country to each guest who must bring along an appropriate decoration.
Food & drink: As with the decoration, ask each guest to bring along food and drink from a particular country.
The idea: Born in the era of Saturday Night Fever and the Bee Gees? This is your chance to celebrate.
Decoration: Think disco balls and John Travolta and you can’t go far wrong. Plenty of lava lamps, flares and psychedelic clothing.
Food & drink: It’s got to be a fondue – the perfect seventies party food.
The idea: What were you wearing when the ship sank?
Decoration: If you’re outside, attempt the look of a desert island. A large bonfire can make a great focus. Guests come dressed in rags or anything they managed to salvage.
Food & drink: A barbecue, coconuts and pineapples make great refreshments.
The idea: The perfect party for four couples – each host a course at their home and guests travel from one to the next, all ending up at the final house for a party.
Decoration: None necessary – this is all about the food!
Food & drink: It’s important to chat to each other so you don’t end up with four remarkably similar courses!
The idea: A celebration of the fifties, it’s party time!
Decoration: Send out invitations shaped like old 45s. Women should dress in poodle skirts and bobby socks, men in tight cuffed jeans and white T-shirts. Use Grease for a little inspiration! If you’re splashing out, rent a jukebox and play your favourite 50s tunes. Have a rock ‘n’ roll dance competition, a hula hoop contest or a bubble blowing competition.
Food & drink: Serve cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes (with added alcohol) or Manhattans, Grasshoppers and Martinis.
The idea: Flapper girls and tuxedos.
Decoration: Simple and elegant. Get the dancing going with Charleston music. Fringe is a must.
Food & drink: Serve elegant cocktails and canapés.
The idea: Cover up the labels and challenge your guests to match the bottles with the names. You don’t need to know much but if everyone swallows, the party will get going in no time!
Decoration: If you do a wine tasting, create a vineyard theme with vines, checked tablecloths and candles in bottles.
Food & drink: Wine or beer… perhaps soaked up with a rustic feast of breads, cheeses and cold meats.
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