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Brampton Halt’s 5 top-tips to a great summer bash

Wedding or garden party, planning is less of a 'mare with a handful of tips and tricks from Brampton Halt's event expert

We are well into summer party season and the Pimms should be free flowing by now. BBQs are lit and we find ourselves going absolutely spare in the dairy isle at Sainsbury’s, trying to decide if Brie or Camembert would be a better addition to the cheeseboard we’re planning to serve. Luckily, while we sweat the small stuff, Brampton Halt (absolutely great pub for the summer) events manager Donna has chipped in with her top five tips for running your own soiree.

She has 13 years of event planning experience with a background as a chef so clearly knows her stuff. Her whole outlook on events at Brampton Halt is that they are a blank canvas venue so everything can be tailored to whatever you want, it doesn’t have to be set menus or buffets. If you don’t want to throw your own soiree, the Brampton Halt Marquee comes with  dedicated staff, a private garden area, iPod and microphone facilities, linen, crockery, cutlery, heating if needed and gazebos. So whether it’s intimate dinners, vintage weddings or exuberant corporate parties, there’s something for everyone (even the super picky). But should you plump for your own partay, here’s Donna’s tips…

Throwing a party – top tips

1. Ditch the theme unless you’re going to follow it all the way through

God loves a trier, but maybe not a tryhard. A themed party is all well and good – fancy dress! Pinatas! Brexit! – but this isn’t the place for half measures. While a well-executed concept can really complete the evening, make a hash of it and you run a moderate risk of embarrassment. A Great Gatsby shindig sounds like excellent fun on paper, but you don’t want your guests showing up in flapper dresses and heels while you’re in your classic jeans-and-a-nice-top combo. It’s bad form. A theme is far from essential, so if picking something cute and not too cringy to encapsulate the night seems like too much pressure, then drop it.

2. Keep an eye out for the kids

Arranging an Easter egg hunt for the little ones? That’s 20 adulting points to you right off the bat, but make sure you’ve sufficiently childproofed your home before the first guests showing up. If you’ve got a kiddie’s birthday party coming up it’s also handy to plan around their nap times – no one wants a sleepy birthday boy, or worse a grumpy one! Or, if you just want to make sure your grown-ups garden party is still child friendly, keep an activity box handy for bored children. The last thing you want is a long overdue gossip sesh being drowned out by the wailing of an idle toddler.

3. Stay true

Remember, it’s your party. Have what you want, not what you feel you should have.

if you like ice cream, then you shall have ice cream

It doesn’t matter if Jan next door made a disparaging comment over the fence about barbecued food, and you were planning to spend all evening on the patio frying off sausages and burgers. You won’t have any fun at all if you spend the whole night trying to please everyone else.

4. Two birds one stone

Make your party favours drinkable! Not only can you now net this in with the catering budget and save a pretty penny, but you can be sure nothing’s going to be left behind and trash your living room and/or the venue you’ve hired. Spray painted pine cones or personalised Love Hearts with the happy couple’s name on are cute scattered over the tables at a wedding or engagement party, but in reality, it’s unlikely everyone will want to take them home. Save the cleanup and give everybody a cute little glass of bubbly or Pimm’s  instead. Almost everyone is going to want a drink.

5. Think outside the box

Summer wedding, eh? Why not try a variation on a traditional cake? Stacked cheesecakes or Porkpies make a fantastic centrepiece, so might be a good way to go if you and your partner don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Plus, it’ll definitely stick in everyone’s memory that you did something to make the day uniquely yours. That said, it’s hard to recreate the part where you adorably smear icing on each other’s faces with a crusty pastry. You win some, you lose some.

Donna and Brampton Halt are available for all sorts of events, just e mail


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