Well, just over a month ago we gave you some tips on hosting a holiday party, when you could actually have people in your home. Now, let’s pivot (for the hundredth time this year) and focus on how to throw a party COVID style. Now, trust us, a party is way more fun when you actually have your guests in your general area but it doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime between now and December 31. Thanks to ZOOM, House Party, Facetime, Skype and the like, we can throw a party from a distance while still getting to see and connect with the ones we love.
When planning your party consider what the party is for, is it an office party, family get together or celebration with friends? And keep in mind the key ingredients to a successful party are the guest list, food, drink and music/entertainment, no matter the circumstances.
FOOD AND DRINK
The food is so important to any party, even if you’re dining in separate homes. Over the past year we have utilized technology in such a way that we can still enjoy a meal with friends and family without having them close to us – who would have ever guessed that Zoom dinner parties would be a thing?!
Now, there are a few ways to approach dining at a distance. You could order a prepared meal and arrange to have to have it dropped off at the home of each of your guests so you can enjoy around a virtual dinner table, or while you watch a holiday movie together, while apart. This is a great option for family get togethers, and something we can totally help coordinate for you. We’ll help you put together a three course menu from our menu selections, add wine pairings (if you like) and then drop everything off on the doorstep of you and your guests, ready for you to enjoy. Heck, we’ll even help you choose the movie! May we suggest Love Actually or The Grinch – the new one with Benedict Cumberbatch – or a classic like It’s a Wonderful Life.
If you’re having an office get together, you may want something a little more interactive. We offer virtual cooking lessons that are great for groups of up to 12 people and are a fun, team building activity. We’ll help you design a menu and then drop off the raw ingredients at everyone’s home with a log in to our virtual cooking lesson later that day. We encourage you to cook something that anyone can do at home, like how to spatchcock a chicken, sear a duck breast or roast a whole squash – all great foundational skills for any home cook. And we’ll provide you with something sweet to finish off the evening!
For more casual evenings with friends and family, a virtual wine tasting is a lot of fun. We can help you design a theme (Rustic Red Wines, Cosy Winter Whites, Sparkling Wine)and then drop off a selection of bottles at every guests house with a cheese and charcuterie board selected to pair with the wine. Then you and your guests can log in to the Zoom Meeting link we provide you while we taste through each wine and play around with wine and food pairings. Everyone gets a chance to ask questions and talk about what they’re tasting. And if wine isn’t your thing, there’s always beer, spirits and zero proof cocktails to taste too! The possibilities are seemingly endless.
If you want more info on our Virtual offerings, just contact us and we can go over pricing and anything else you might need to know.
It can be really hard to navigate a Zoom screen when there’s more than 12 people on it. Heck, it’s a challenge for me to navigate three people… So keep this in mind when planning your guest list. I know we’re all craving a big holiday open house right about now but 30 people on a computer screen fighting for a chance to speak is not the same as 30 people casually mingling in a home – SO KEEP YOUR LIST SMALL.
On the note of fighting for screen time, it’s a good idea to come up with a signal to indicate when you want to talk (because nothing kills a good time like getting yelled at through a computer screen). It can be something as simple as holding up a candy cane when you want to speak, or have some fun and pop a Santa Hat into everyone’s dinner and ask them to wear it when they want to speak. This way people can communicate that they want to speak without having to cut anyone off.
MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT
With virtual parties, music should be turned down so you can actually hear your guests but it’s still nice to have some background noise. Head over to Spotify and check out our Harling Food Co. Holiday Playlist for a run down on everything we’ve been filling our ear holes with this season.
Now, while food and drink is important, so is entertainment. Background music is a good way to start but you’ll really put things over the top with a few of the things we’ve already mentioned, virtual cooking lessons, wine tasting or a family movie. Now if these all feel a little tame for your guests, you can always have a little fun with some good old fashioned truth and dare style trivia games. Quiplash and Never Have I Ever are favourites around our house but here’s a link to check out for some fun ideas.