Henry Conway: A Socialite’s Tips for Hosting A New Year’s Eve Party

The liver-ruining social chaos of December used to see me flee London for a quiet New Year’s Eve in the countryside, but with global warming ruining the start of the ski season and the country house party seemingly falling out of favour, my lot have all come back round to New Year’s Eve in London. And usually at my house. So how do you get through hosting the NYE bash?

The past few years I have had everyone over to mine, ringing in midnight, then arranging a club for everyone to pile into. Many clubs will have used one of their temporary licence extensions that night to stay open extra late – and it neatly gets everyone out of your house.

Henry Conway on how to host a New Year's Eve party in London

Henry Conway on how to host a New Year’s Eve party 

Organisation is key with a house party. Instruct everyone to bring something specific, and delegate – a bottle of tequila for the margarita table and a bottle of fizz should do. No-one can be upset by too much champagne.

My friends at The Champagne Bureau tell me to chill it for two to three hours before the party, in the lower half of the fridge (set at eight degrees), or if a maximalist like me, in the bathtub half filled with cold water and ice.

Pre-fill your glasses with just a drop in advance of your guest’s arrival – then as they come through the door, there are none of those fizzing-over disasters that leave everyone with sticky fingers.

Plan your outfit for movement, maximum impact and repelling of spillages. I favour acres of lurex – it will keep you warm, yet fabulous all night, if a little unforgiving. In order to budge the glut of stuffing had on the 25th, do a little 5:2 in the days leading up to the big event.

Falling into the feeder category, I make sure there are a few stews and pasta dishes on the go (to soak it all up), with a heaving buffet table. Cheat for heaven’s sake: a few Jagerbombs in and no-one will care if you’ve made your own puff pastry. Don’t forget a cheese plate – you’ll thank me for that at 4am.

Cheat for heaven’s sake: a few Jagerbombs in and no-one will care if you’ve made your own puff pastry

On the night itself, pace yourself enough so as to avoid a full teary breakdown, but not enough to cop off with a pre-marked invitee. If hosting the party, make sure the singletons are well balanced out – there is nothing to make you feel more on-the-shelf than being in a room with 20 couples at midnight, and all you have is the dog for a midnight snog.

The lingerer – there is always one. Be it the oaf that everyone half likes, but you still have to invite, or a classic friend-of-a-friend. Don’t be afraid to kick them out. My English sense of decorum will go right out the window at 7am if they’re still hanging on.

Book lunch out for New Year’s Day as you will want to escape the cesspit your house has become. Finally, order a cab for the stranger you woke up next to, and take a selfie whilst they are sleeping – totally creepy, but hours of hangover fun with snapchat filters.

Happy New Year!