Living in a small city apartment doesn’t stop me from entertaining at home. I love nothing more than hosting a cocktail party; it’s one of my favorite ways to socialize. Creating a warm and welcoming environment for my friends to have some drinks, food, and discuss what is going on in our lives and the world is my first concern when hosting. Here are some of the items I rely on to do just that.
A Chic Bar Cart
I’ve been known to put fashion ahead of function, but this bar cart fits the bill on both counts. This is part of the everyday décor of my apartment. On the daily, I use this to showcase prettier bottles of liquor/wine and knick knacks I like; when I host parties it’s large enough to hold a variety of glasses and has a rack to hang champagne flutes.
Champagne Round Bar Cart; Pier 1 Imports; $199.65
Cheese & Charcuterie Board
A cheese board is quick and easy thing to serve with hors d’oeuvres and requires no cooking at all. I like this sleek marble one. It can be found on Amazon.
Godinger Cucina Marble Cheese Board; Amazon.com; $51.74
I love lighting a few candles especially at the start of a party. My absolute favorite scent by Diptyque is Feu de Bois. It’s a woody scent; the name translates to “wood fire” and is perfect for a winter gathering. Sometimes I like to combine scents as well; such as Baies and Figuier (Berry and Fig Tree, which are a bit more warm season appropriate). These candles come in two sizes and I like to group one larger candle with two smaller ones on my bar cart.
Diptyque Candles; Diptyque Paris; $64 [6.5 oz.] or $34 [2.4 oz.]
If Diptyque’s offerings are not for you, try Malin + Goetz or Cire Trudon. From Malin + Goetz, I like the Otto scent, which you may recognize if you ever visit Barry’s Bootcamp. The candles come in minimalist packaging and have a less feminine look than the Diptyque candles. (Not pictured above)
On the other hand, Cire Trudon’s look is a bit more extravagant as are the prices; candles start at $95 and some of their extra-large candles cost upwards of $500. This brand comes with a storied history; founded in France in 1643, it is the oldest candlemaker still in business today. (Not pictured above)
Tiered Serving Tray
This tiered serving tray is perfect for bite sized desserts or appetizers.
Petforu 3 Tier Fruits Cakes Desserts Plate; Amazon.com; $17.99
If traditional champagne flutes aren’t your jam, I love a coupe glass, which do double duty and could also be used to serve cocktails such as a Gimlet or Manhattan. I like this sleek and delicate style by Waterford.
Waterford Elegance Champagne Belle Coupe; S/2; Waterford; $70
Admittedly, I’m not very good at caring for flowers. I found these faux flower bouquets on One Kings Lane. They are very high quality and come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. This was the perfect solution for me to add flowers as part of my décor. However, a flower arranging class is on my to do list this year and perhaps I’ll be making my own creations soon!
The French Bee – Rose Bundle in Cube; One Kings Lane; $39
Another Amazon find – I purchased these for a recent cocktail party because I couldn’t resist the whimsical gold animal motif. Further, they are disposable, but heavy weight and well-made – you can have something that looks good and also cuts down on cleaning time later (especially if you don’t have a dishwasher – at times a luxury in NYC apartments). This brand also offers a variety of patterns/styles, if gold jungle animals aren’t your thing.
Talking Tables Gold/White Plates; S/12; Amazon.com; $9.49
A whiskey decanter is also a great addition. I don’t drink whiskey often, but this looks pretty and also ensures that I have something on hand to cater to the tastes of the men in my life.
Marquis by Waterford Decanter; Waterford; $79.95
Crystal Champagne Flutes
Perfect for toasting the new year, a promotion, or a close friend’s birthday – it’s always a good idea to have a bottle of champagne and the appropriate glassware on hand. These glasses are a bit ornate, Waterford has a variety of styles. Additionally, One Kings Lane is a great resource for barware.
Marquis by Waterford, Brady Flute; S/4; Waterford; $39.95
These are great for protecting your furniture from wet glasses and are also available with silver edging. I’ve discovered that Amazon is a great resource for home goods at reasonable prices. I can be a bit overprotective of my furniture and keep two sets of these on hand.
Thirstystone Marble Coasters S/4; Amazon.com; $14.97
Sonos Play 1 Wireless Speakers
No party is complete without music – the Sonos speakers are completely easy and intuitive to set up and the sound quality is great for such a small speaker. You can sync the Sonos app with most music streaming services (my favorite is Spotify). Additionally, for larger apartments, you can customize with various speakers and the brand also offers a larger player.
Sonos Play 1; Sonos; $199 (comes in White or Black)
Please note that some of these items contain affiliate links; however, I have tried each of them.
What are some of your go to items when entertaining?