A party should be exciting, inspiring and innovative. A buffet just won’t do, so forget the triangular sandwiches, bland bowls of crisps and over cooked pizza slices… Read our top party food ideas and create something extra special for your next event!

1. Impress your guests with a live cooking station

Party food ideas

With smoke, fire and delicious aromas, a live food station certainly brings theatre to your event! Your chef will cook to order for each guest and can also to talk to them about the produce too.

There are lots of potential menus to choose from, something to suit every guest. How about blinis with caviar and cured salmon or an autumn pumpkin risotto bar? This is one of our favourite party food ideas!

2. Social foods

Sharing foods are great for getting your guests talking. How about a delicious baked camembert with 3inch cut chunky croutons, garlic and rosemary? An easy and delicious grazing canape for guests to gather around and chat.

3. Get the numbers right

If you’re having a canape and bowl food party, we’d recommend six different canapes and four bowl food options. It’s always a good idea to offer variety. Following this formula allows for vegetarian and vegan options to be included; and there’ll be plenty of food on offer for your guests too.

4. Funky arrival drinks

Party Food Ideas

Pimp your arrival drinks with some puree pipettes which give you the option to turn your champagne into a peach, raspberry or spiced apple bellini. It’s interactive, fun and will definitely get your guests talking.

5. Delicious, but healthy desserts?

Lemon/lime and agave syrup is a great seasoning for berries and most fresh fruit. Okay, so we’re pushing our luck if we call it the healthy option, but… Agave is a naturally occurring sweetener with a low GI rating; this means it’s far less likely to cause blood sugar level spikes that are associated with regular sugars.

6. Survivors food

If your guests have been partying hard they’ll need something to sustain them as the evening goes on. In our opinion, the best survivor’s food is an opulent cheese board with seasonal garnishes. The longer you leave it out the nicer it tastes. Deliciously simple!

7. Post dinner coffee with a twist

If you’re having a dinner party offer espresso martinis instead of a standard coffee course. Sugar syrup, espresso coffee, coffee liqueur and last but not least – Vodka! A delicious pick me up, guaranteed to get the party started.

8. Stick to classic desserts – but do them well

Party food ideas

Don’t over-complicate your desserts. Make sure that they are easy for your guests to manage while socialising and ensure that the portions aren’t too big either – a party is no place for a food coma. Rhubarb and ginger make an amazing combo for desserts. We serve our rhubarb and ginger with a set vanilla custard on a frangipane shortbread. It’s a real classic and always goes down a treat.

9. Grazing station

If you’re hosting a drinks party then a grazing station is a quick, simple and cost effective way to feed your guests. Pull together a grazing station antipasti of cured meats and cheese with olives, marinated vegetables and warm breads. It can all be bought at your supermarket and more importantly – no cooking

10. Save the tears

Lots of food to prepare? You won’t want puffy eyes when your guests arrive – So if you’re chopping onions then here’s our top tip to stop yourself crying: Using a sharp knife will reduce the amount of sulphur gases that are released as you cut. It’s these gasses mixing and reacting with the moisture in on your eyes that cause the tears.

11. Raise the bar

Party food ideas

Gin bars are bang on trend right now. But how about, instead of a gin bar you serve a craft rum bar? Introduce some exciting mixers (Ginger beer, pineapple juice, craft cola, coconut water) served with tasty garnishes such as coconut shavings, orange peel, fresh pineapple, apricot, dried banana chips and nutmeg and you’ll be on to a winner. If you want to stand out, do different, but do it well.

12. It’s all about preparation

If hosting a Sunday roast for lots of guests prepare all your vegetables the day before. You can then use all the trimmings to make a lovely stock and simply cook the vegetables on the day. It will save lots of time and lots of stress too.

13. Seasonal savings

Follow the seasons when planning your menu. This way you will be eating the best, freshest and most local produce at a fraction of the cost. Plus seasonal foods lend them selves best to the time of year at which you’re holding your party. It sounds obvious, but, by way of example, a warming pumpkin soup starter is perfect for an autumn event.

14. Party bags!

You’re never too old for a party bag! We love to send guests off with a bag filled with home made mints, a morning after Fortnum and masons tea, an instant cold compress, Charcoal tablets and tea tree foot spray. Your guests will love it – and they’ll thank you for it the next day too!

15. Autumn and winter parties

Party food ideas

September October and November are great months for hosting parties. The weather has cooled and your friends and family are feeling those post holiday blues. Offer a remedy by giving them an awesome party to look forward to. And don’t forget the post festive drag either. Jan to April can be a long haul. Create a special party to pick everyone up when the temperature goes down.

Planning a party?

We’d love to help! We have plenty more party food ideas, and we are experienced event planners too. From intimate dinner parties to large festival style events, weddings and corporate parties, product launches or away days; Vanilla Bean Events have a level of service to suit.

Contact the Vanilla Bean team today to discuss your next, unique, event! Call us on 01932 356180 or email surrey@vanilla-bean.co.uk