chocolate cupcakes

When hosting a party or a get-together for friends, it can be difficult to think of a fun and unique way to serve your food and drink – especially now that summer is over and we can’t just resort to a barbeque. I am always browsing this topic on Pinterest and saving images to my Entertaining & Party Ideas board (here), so I thought I would put together a post on my favourite food and drink station ideas and give you some tips on how to re-create them.

Ice-Cream Station | Hot Chocolate Bar | Mimosa Bar | Pimp Your Cupcake Bar | Soda Station | Taco Bar

An ice-cream station is a really fun idea for adults and kids alike. Put several ice-cream flavour tubs in ice buckets and surround them with a tower of cones, ice-cream tubs and tiny plastic spoons (you can get the prettiest patterned and pastel ones from Jelly & Blancmange) and a variety of sweet toppings and sprinkles. Guests can either make their own sundae or design their own cone. 

Now that’s it’s getting into the coldest months of the year, a hot chocolate bar is particularly apt. If you are hosting a movie night for friends or an outdoor garden event at night, this is perfect. Get some paper coffee cups with lids and you could even personalise/decorate your own paper cup sleeves for your event (a wide range of cups and sleeve blanks are available from Inn Supplies). Stack these up next to flasks of hot chocolate, bowls of toppings, chocolate-dipped spoons and squishy cream.

If you are planning or serving champagne, setting up a mimosa bar is a lot more interesting. Guests can either have a plain glass of champagne or they can make their own mimosa with a selection of fruit juices and fresh fruit – prepare jugs of pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, peach puree, blackcurrent juice and orange juice etc, and some platters of fruit slices and fresh berries. Label each jug of juice with cute little tags (you can get fabulous blackboard ones from The Essentials Company) and keep plenty of champagne on ice.

Who doesn’t love cupcakes? They tastes even better if you can decorate your own too; plus it saves you as the host time by not having to decorate them yourself. Lay out trays of plain frosted cupcakes – a mix of chocolate and vanilla is nice – then display fun and colourful sprinkles and toppings in glass bowls with spoons. Guests can pile on what they want or take their time and create a Great British Bake Off Showstopper-worthy design. Having a bowl of extra frosting is fun too, as no cupcake ever has enough of that. You can buy every sprinkle you can imagine from The Cake Decorating Co.

Doesn’t the Coca-Cola soda bar look so cool?! Have lots of cute ’50s-style glass bottles of Coke and Diet Coke on ice, as well as lots of cans too. The key to making the soda bar really unique is having lots of different flavoured syrups that guests can add to make their own Cherry Coke or vanilla-flavoured coke. You could even have some vanilla ice-cream on ice so that they can make their own Coke Floats. Don’t forget bowls of fresh lemon and lime slices either. Think about some glass mason jars and colourful straws too. You can purchase a huge range of drinks syrup flavours, including bubblegum, from The Drink Shop.

Finally, if you want to serve some hot food and are having quite a relaxed get-together, a taco bar is a great idea. Fill some large serving dishes with pulled pork, chicken and beef strips and keep them warm on hot plates or hot food servers (you can purchase these from John Lewis). Around this, stack up a huge pile of taco shells, bowls of grated cheese, salad, refried beans and sour cream etc. Guests can make their own meaty or vegetarian tacos to their own tastes and it’s a fun activity and talking point too.

Are you going to be trying any of these ideas?

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Photo Credit: Pexels/tookapic