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Five Top Tips on the Best Parties .... Stress Free

Deciding to plan a get-together, big or small - dinner party to big celebration - is an exciting prospect but can be daunting too! 

Knockinaam Lodge have planned many events of all shapes and sizes from weddings to baby naming celebrations to family and friends’ get-togethers for reunions and special birthdays or anniversaries. Of course, in addition to these bigger celebrations the team know a thing or two about putting the attention to detail into an intimate dinner for their guests who come to enjoy the award-winning 5-course tasting menu.

Dinner Parties to Big Celebrations – keeping it simple is the key

No one is expecting you to conjure up a 5-course tasting menu with surprise courses, like Head Chef Tony Pierce and his team, but his essential philosophy will help you along as you plan the catering for your dinner party or a bigger celebration. Tony recommends that you select good quality ingredients and keep recipes simple: “The important thing is to enjoy the process. Prepare as much as you can in advance and select dishes that have the wow factor without too much fuss.” 

Preparation is the vital component and if you are planning something at home, the Knockinaam team have 5 top tips to follow:

  • Plan out your theme and what your wish list might be
  • Research and budget to manage your expectations
  • Delegate jobs, making sure people know clearly what is expected of them
  • Have your ‘on the day to do list’ mapped out and timings set
  • Sit back, relax and enjoy the fun

Having a good team around you to help with ideas and preparation for bigger celebrations is vital otherwise you will become overwhelmed, get nowhere and end up hating the whole idea. Sian Ibbotson, who owns Knockinaam Lodge with her husband David, has 30 years of event planning experience. She has organised many weddings and get togethers during her 16 years at Knockinaam and knows the intricacies of party planning.

Sian knows how important it is to both manage expectations and to rally a team for support. She explains: “We are a small team at Knockinaam and when there is a major event to plan for, we all muck in. The same should go for a family celebration at home. You may be the one who came up with the idea and you are leading the way but enrolling the support of other family and friends to make things happen is essential. You need other to help you carry the responsibility and see the things that you may have missed. Above all you want to enjoy the planning, since it is such a big part of the overall experience, so once you have decided upon a big event plan well in advance and share the joy of preparing for the big day.”    

Leave it to the experts…enjoy your celebration at Knockinaam Lodge

Of course, there is always the option of leaving it with the experts. At Knockinaam you have 10 bedrooms to sleep family and friends (up to 22 guests including the family suite and extra beds for children). It’s the perfect place to have a party with its secluded location.

Imagine an exclusive let with the whole hotel and 36 acres of grounds all to yourself, children enjoying rock pooling, building dams on the beach or swimming in the seas at this private cove. It’s the perfect place for creating memories with children and grandkids.

You decide on the itinerary for your celebration or get-together. Sausage sizzle for lunch or picnic on beach; BBQ one day and formal dinner the next; relaxed family dining or afternoon tea in the garden playing croquet and rounders. The ideas go on. Chef Tony and his team will help you with all your menus ideas – choose your favourite dishes and they will design the menu around them: from lunches to 5-course dinners - pick your favourites.

The team also love themes, whether they be formal glam or casual. Sian and all the team will help you with ideas, such as a piper in his full Highland regalia to do the rounds of the hotel, gathering everyone for dinner; a ceilidh afterwards or use your own playlist; local musicians for something special – the choice is yours. Activities can also be organised such as clay pigeon shooting in garden, golf ay Dunskey or Stranraer; maybe a boat trips from Portpatrick for fishing and nature catching or even a cookery demonstration from Tony and his kitchen team!

It’s all about having fun and making great memories, whether you plan a party at home or away. Cherishing moments with family & friends is priceless so whatever you do, enjoy every moment. Click here to find out more about planning a celebration at Knockinaam Lodge.