Create your own bar at home this party season!

It’s time to pop the Buck’s Fizz – Christmas is on its way, and we don’t know about you, but we’ve never felt more ready for a good old fashioned knees-up with family and friends! After the year we’ve had, we all deserve to have fun more than ever, so why not pull out all the stops to really wow your guests at your next drinks party?

Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering with your closest family or throwing a blow-out New Year’s Eve party, we’ve gathered those fabulous finishing touches to help you create an at-home bar that captures the festive spirit this season!

Kit out the bar

Whatever you’re up to this season, creating a mini at-home bar in your home is the perfect way to welcome your guests as they drop in throughout December, whether they’re just stopping by for a quick drink or dancing late into the night in your living room!

Whatever the size of your space or budget, there are plenty of different ways to do it, and here are just a few…

Bar carts are all the rage this season, and it’s not hard to see why – they’re fun, sophisticated and so eye-catching when you enter a room! This one from the legendary Julien Macdonald boasts a gorgeous sparkling sheen that captures that coveted party feel instantly, plus it has two levels to put your bottles on one and your glasses on the other, so your guests can help themselves. Simply wheel it out and reel in the compliments!

And what would your at-home bar be without a cocktail shaker? The great thing about one of these is that it instantly transforms cocktail hour into an exciting experience, as you can shake up a Christmas cocktail in front of your guests to serve ice cold or let them shake their own to suit their taste. This one from Amanda Holden’s beloved BundleBerry range boasts a gorgeous geometric design reminiscent of a party set in the Roaring 20s – perfect for taking you from post-carol concert drinks to New Year’s Eve itself!

You might not have thought of putting out a punch bowl for your drinks do, but personally, we think it’s the only way to get the party started! Not only does it make a stunning centrepiece for the table (check out those antlers!!) but it also gets everyone talking, whether they’re stepping up to help themselves or complementing its fabulous design. The best part is how versatile it really is – it can be used as an ice bucket to keep champagne or beer cold too!

The finishing touches

Now you’ve nailed your bar basics, it’s time to think about the little details to make it that bit more magical. It turns out that bar accessories don’t have to be boring, and here are just a few little ideas to prove it.

When it comes to serving wine, make it a bit special with a cork screw that will really get your guests talking! This playful cork screw and bottle stopper set from Culinary Concepts will add that element of fun to your table, so much so that you’ll want to leave them out well after the drinks have been drained!

While you’re mingling, wine glass charms are a fantastic idea so your guests can take their glass from table to living room without worrying about keeping track of which one’s theirs. These intricate ones from Culinary Concepts are so pretty they’ll help to decorate your table too, plus it leaves your guests free and easy to take their glass with them throughout the evening and set it down without a care. It also means you won’t have to bring out fresh glasses every time you go between rooms, so there’s less washing up for you!

Ready to pull out all the stops? Give your at-home bar the ultimate finishing touch by standing this fabulous neon sign from BundleBerry by Amanda Holden beside it, or even mount it on the wall for the ultimate eye-catching feature when your guests arrive. You’ll love its retro, 1950s-diner feel, so we reckon that once you’ve put it up, you’ll be keeping it there all year round!

Set the scene

If you’re planning on hosting festive drinks, don’t forget to set the scene with decor that captures that party feel. Even when the big day has passed and you’re no longer rockin’ around the Christmas tree, there are many more ways to set off your space with a bit of seasonal sparkle.

For a stylish statement, these decorative stars from Julien Macdonald have a mesmerising encapsulated crystal centre that’s simply perfect for party season. Put them on your coffee table, on your bar cart or even on a bookshelf to finish the scene with a bit of New Year magic.

It’s hard not to associate the festive season with twinkling lights, but if you’re looking for something a bit more glamorous than your regular string LEDs, these stunning lotus flower tealight holders show that there’s more way than one to capture that magical sparkle. Courtesy of Julien Macdonald, they exude glamour in a subtle yet eye-catching way, so they’re perfect for adding that extra something to your seasonal bar to make it special. Simply load them with your favourite tealights, scented or not, and let the light twinkle through them.

And why not pair them with this taller set for a co-ordinated multi-levelled look? You could set them in a row to divide your kitchen island up with a touch of glamour, or cluster them into the middle of a round table as a sparkling centrepiece.

When it comes to creating your winter wonderland at home, don’t forget the fragrance! It can make such a huge difference to your space, transporting your guests’ senses to a crisp, snowy woodland or a warming Christmas cottage, so light your favourite candle a few hours before they arrive to ensure your home is filled with festive cheer.

We love this set of four candles from Homeworx by Harry Slatkin for its variety of beautiful winter fragrances, so you can choose which one best suits the mood of your event. For a special gathering with family, you could go for the cosy Trim the Tree scent, and when it’s time to party, you could choose to light White Birch for a fresher, more lively feel.

Or, if you fancy having a whole library of seasonal scents at your disposal, you can’t go wrong with these little houses full of festive votives from Yankee Candle. They might be small, but the pack a real punch in any room, plus you can mix and match them as often as you like. They also make gorgeous little party favours… just saying!

If you’ve been inspired to be the hostess with the mostess this Christmas, there’s plenty more festive magic to discover here, waiting to help you make this season your best one yet.