The end of the year is upon us, and most conversations right now involve some element of party planning. Who knows a great bartender, where to go for the best Christmas decorations, the best place for guest favours—the list of to-dos is extensive and finding elements that set your soirée apart from the rest, challenging.
Our handy A-Z directory comes to the rescue, with options for everything that you may possibly need for entertaining this year, and even some that probably didn’t make it to your list but are sure to be on your speed dial soon.
A for Alchemist
A great mixologist is key to an enjoyable evening. Jeet Rana, or @mr.gintleman, as he’s known on Instagram. An award-winning mixologist and Stranger & Sons’ brand ambassador, hit him up for his roster of delicious gin cocktails and more.
B for Boards
Are you even throwing a hang in 2022 if you don’t have grazing boards on the table? The Theatric Platter (@thetheatricplatter), a Mumbai- and Delhi-based catering service that specializes in boards of all kinds, from artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, to dessert and breakfast platters.
C for Catering
Passarounds or plated meals; Christmas gatherings or NYE cocktails: whatever your theme, trust these experts to make the food as memorable as the evening itself. Mumbai-based Sage & Saffron (@sagesaffron) and Studio Kitchen (@studiokitchen_mumbai), and Tahir Sultan (@tahirsultanfood) in Delhi. Studio Kitchen does great buffet spreads spanning a variety of cuisines; Sage & Saffron is lovely for sit-downs and elevated cocktail evenings; while Tahir Sultan does heaving Levantine tables which are perfect for big family meals.
D for Dessert
The best gatherings end on a sugar high. Whether you need a spread or a grand centrepiece for your party, our recommendations—Vanilla Miel (@vanilla_miel) and Ether Chocolate (@etherchocolate) in Mumbai, and Baking Table (@the_bakingtable) in Delhi—have something just for you. PS: They make lovely goodie bags too, perfect to share with your invites.
E for Entertaining Right
By December, it’s natural for the event fatigue to set in. If you find all your gatherings feeling a bit… samey, The Art of Gathering by author and New York Times contributor Priya Parker will be your reset bible. While the book delves into all kinds of gatherings—work conferences, summer camps, small and big parties—the essence remains the same: how to facilitate connections and make any get-together meaningful, and hence, memorable.
F for Flowers
If you’re looking for something with a little bit more finesse than your usual buy-flowers-and-shove-them-in-a-vase routine, Twelve Tomatoes (@twelvetomatoes) and Bud Luv (@budluvfloralcraft) have stunning options running the gamut; from beautiful tabletop arrangements to wedding mandaps.
G for Gifting
We love Luxe Box (@luxebox.in) for all things gifting-related. Gourmet food hampers, themed boxes with fragrances and candles; even a coffee-themed box for the caffeine addict in your life—you name it, they probably have it.
H for Hired Servers
Take the stress out of hosting a big party with hired service staff. Coox.in lets you hire servers based on the occasion and number of guests. Le Mill’s own man of the hour for events is Sanjay (tel: +91-9137069844), and comes highly recommended.
I for Invitations
Ravish Kapoor (@ravishkapoorinvitations) is a well-known name among the who’s-who of the country, having done invitations for some of the biggest weddings. Besides weddings, the design studio also does luxe invitations and gifting for parties and other events, along with beautiful stationery and gift bags with their signature laser cut paper work.
J for Jazz
If a jazz night is on the calendar, saxophonist Ryan Sadri (@rynosax) is your guy to call.
K for Kombucha, Kefir
Provide for your sober or health-conscious friends with a selection of gut-friendly drinks. Brands like Bombucha, Atmosphere Kombucha, Happy Booch and Mountain Bee have some great flavours; you could also check out Sequel for their selection of gut-friendly drinks.
L & M are for Live Performers and Music
N for Napkins
Ever been to a party where napkins are out of sight? Utter disasters. We recommend browsing through the selection at Le Mill which has great options from Casa Mota, Art Chives and Georgia McMillan for some tasteful table linen.
O for Olfactory Notes
P for Photobooth
You’ve got a crew of friends all jazzed up for a party–all that’s missing is the perfect backdrop to make memories. The team at @doitup.today has unconventional suggestions to keep the vibe interesting.
Q for Quinine
Don’t waste good gin on run off the mill tonics. Take time to pre-order or hit up a specialty store for tonics that champion quality ingredients from Mayo & Co, Sepoy & Co, Jade Forest and more to keep things interesting at the bar.
R for Rental Crockery
Unless you’re Kris Jenner it’s impossible to own crockery unique to every mood. Don’t sweat it and call for help from @nine_luxurydiningrentals to find sets that tie well into the theme of your party.
S for Surprise
While guests will request for all kinds of detail on timings and dress codes, keep some information confidential until they arrive at your event. Who doesn’t love a pleasant surprise after all?
T for Tablescaping
U for Uno
You never know when the night runs too late into the night and the last few standing have a hankering for cards. Always best to keep a fresh set handy.
V for Vibe
Le Mill recommends being your truest, funnest self.
W for Wine Shops
X for X-mas Decorations
‘Tis the season to be jolly. For tree decor with a dash of style we recommend Partyalacarte.co.in. From tree-shaped hats to reindeer piñatas, advent calendars and everything Chirstmas-y you can imagine, this is the website you have been waiting for.
Y for Yes Please!
If you want people talking about the food at your party, don’t hold back from customizing the menu. Curate one tailored to your taste with @fringe_food.
Z for Zap
Parties are great but the stress of cleanup is good enough to make the most enthusiastic of folks to choose otherwise. Throw yourself a lifeline and call for help from the folks at Techsquadteam.com and pre-book their services.