Henry Conway: How to Survive the Party Season

You wouldn’t run a marathon cold, so don’t attack the party season without a warm up. Rule number one – always eat. Socialite Henry Conway shares his well rehearsed guide to surviving the party season…

London in the run up to Christmas has to be one of my favourite places in the world. As the cold snaps, I finally get to wear my beloved winter wardrobe, and suddenly everyone takes it up a gear or seven.

Those who would normally stay at home cuddled up in their onesies and binging on Netflix become party monsters. I am hardly known for my shy and retiring ways, but when you get into seasonal overdrive, you really do have to prep yourself. You wouldn’t run a marathon cold, so don’t try to attack the party season without a warm up.

Henry Conway

Approaching the social whirl, one must ensure everything is prepared. Rule number one – always eat. I have made that mistake before in the hope of being fashion thin – gallons of tequila and skipping supper only leads to floods of tears at the end of the night, and possibly an argument with your shoe.

Every canapé offered – devour it. Seek out the carb heavy – they are only little, and your head will thank you for it the next morning. Arancini, mini cheese on toast, crostini with things on it – they are your friends.

Secondly, pace yourself. No-one wants to be the first poured into a cab because you decided to drink all the Advocaat shots put in front of you. Rookie error.

The other day I had to start drinking at 11am on a private jet (it’s a tough life), and continue through to the evening. We were taken on a jolly to Kinross House in Scotland with the newly formed Gilt Club, via a 14 seater Privatefly jet – and the Bolly started on the plane.

Occasional non-alcoholic cocktails are a good way to go to slow down an all-dayer – just the odd one, mind

It’s just the sort of thing your company might surprise you with for an away day, so remember, punctuate it with water, coffee and remember to not drink too many Espresso Martinis at the Groucho club when you arrive back in town (we are all human; I often forget my own advice). Occasional non-alcoholic cocktails are a good way to go to slow down an all-dayer – just the odd one, mind.

A particularly modern phenomenon is the ‘slag bag’ – it comes into its own in December. For the uninitiated, it translates as the bag you take with you if you don’t plan on returning to your own bed.

The party season is the obvious moment to misbehave as a singleton, so good preparation in this area is key. In said bag, remember fresh underwear if you are office-bound the following day and going straight in (buy a shirt from Zara the next morning), mints, prophylactics and the all-important two-charge phone battery pack.

If you do end up having an unexpected guest in your own bed, and if you want to see them again, be a good host and take them to breakfast the next day. After all, you will have hopefully worked up an appetite.

Take lead from Oscar Wilde and try the Savoy Grill – I’ve been indulging in Classic Spring, the year-long celebration of Oscar at the Vaudeville Theatre, so he is providing my best party inspiration at the moment. If you can’t buy Green Carnations from the Royal Arcade, then at least some cheroots from Fox and Co – the most recherché, seductive thing you can produce at a party.

Above all, don’t live by rules this month, throw caution and your morals to the wind. January is for detox and regret – so why not leave 2017 in a whirl of velvet and scandal?

Follow Henry Conway on Twitter and Instagram 


Most Read