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Plan your perfect post-lockdown party

With real-life socialising back on the not-too-distant agenda, it’s time to start planning the party of the year. And - always happy to help - we're on hand with the hot hacks and local lowdown to have you partying like it's 1999.

THE PROFESSIONAL PARTY PLANNER

I’m going to cut right to the chase here. If you want to throw a party that will be the talk of all your friends for at least the next decade, then call in the professionals. And it just happens we know the best in the business. For the crème de la crème of party planners, it has to be Lizzie Liebenhals who runs Halls and Halls Privé. She’s been planning events since 1994, so there’s not much she doesn’t know about parties. Just ask Muhammad Ali – she planned his 60th.

Her top tips:

  1. Pick a date and let everyone you love and cherish know about it. There’s no point having a party if the people you want to be there can’t make it.
  2. Pick a theme and stick with it. Tropical flowers, Mexican music and Indian food will be nothing but chaos.
  3. Think about getting a professional photographer to snap pictures of the event.

THE VENUE

OK, so we know you’re not tying the knot, but bear with us here. These amazing Sussex venues are all licensed for weddings which means they all know how to lay on the event of a lifetime. Castle bash? Garden party? Big ol’ marquee? We’ve got you covered here. If you’d prefer to make it an at-home event, get that garden looking celebration-ready with our pick of the best garden furniture and accessories from indie businesses around the Muddy counties.

THE FOOD

Let them eat cake! For dreamy cupcakes, decadent towers of sponge, frosting, fruit and cream, personalised biscuits, macarons, traybakes and basically anything sweet and delicious, head to the lovely Alice at Marples Cakery. If you’d prefer a mix of canapes and nibbles, Liz at Sussex Gourmand offers a range of options from DIY canape sets to a full catered service.

THE DRINK

For celebratory fizz, look no further than the many fabulous vineyards our doorstep. These include Sussex vineyards Bolney Wine Estate near Haywards Heath, Albourne Estate and lofty Rathfinny Wine Estate, perched above Alfriston. If cocktails are your thing, contact Brighton-based Mixology Group for bespoke bar hire or, even better, a cocktail masterclass at the event and that’s your entertainment sorted too!

THE MEMORIES

If 2020/21 was a year (and a bit) we’ll never forget, make sure you don’t forget the return to freedom either! We love event photographer Rose Bainbridge, whose quirky and warm personality and creative talent will provide you with VIP treatment and images you’ll treasure forever.

Find more ideas here

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