Check out this month’s Taylor Talks in The Cheshire Magazine, as Liz chats with actress, writer and mother – Sally Lindsay.
Check out this month’s Taylor Talks in The Cheshire Magazine, as Liz chats with actress, writer and mother – Sally Lindsay.
Check out Liz Taylor’s interview in Hello Magazine:
New Year’s Eve is the biggest party night in the calendar, so let your hair down and enjoy it. However you are planning to ring in the New Year, I hope it’s a good one for you. And at this time of year, as these weird and wonderful New Year traditions from across the globe show, a celebration can’t be too wacky either.
Enjoy and Happy New Year!
Felice Anno Nuovo, Venice
Number one on our list of weird and wonderful New Year traditions from across the globe takes us to Venice. The Italians are old romantics, none more so than in Venice where the whole New Year’s Eve event is themed on love. Here people are encouraged to welcome the New Year with love in their hearts and a kiss on the lips. On the stroke of midnight, every piazza is filled with kissing couples. In gives the impression of love-hearts raining overhead, although with lips locked I’m not sure how many revellers actually see it.
An Nou Fericit, Romania
If you find yourself relaxing in the country villages of Romania on New Year’s Eve, prepared to be livened up when the mask dance makes its way down the road. Here people dress in elaborate costumes as horses, bears and goats along with by a host of other masked characters, with each role having a special meaning linked to the cultural heritage of the village. The parade is bright and loud, accompanied by the rhythm of drums and like many celebrations at this time marks the end of the old and the start of the new.
Feliz año nuevo, Chile
When it came to compiling a list of weird and wonderful New Year traditions from across the globe, we had to include this slightly odd tradition! The New Year rings into summer in Chile, so many spend it watching fireworks on the beach. However, you may see others walking around the block with a suitcase, but they are not going anywhere – the suitcase is empty. The idea is they are mentally preparing for a trip in the coming year and it’s not hard for them to imagine it being somewhere sunny. Grape sales jump at this time of year too, it being thought good luck for each person to eat 12 grapes, one for each chime of the clock as midnight strikes, bringing luck for each month of the year.
Godt NytÅr, Denmark
Now I know that some of you might end the night dancing on the tables, but in Denmark this practice is not the result of one-too-many it’s thoroughly encouraged. As midnight approaches Danes will find a chair, a sofa, a tables – anything that raises them a little off the ground so that they can literally jump into the New Year. This energetic start is said to bring good luck, and is the cue to hug, kiss and pop open the champagne.
с новым годом, Russia
If you thought taking an icy dip in UK waters was for the foolhardy on New Year’s Day, then spare a thought for those partaking in Siberia’s tree-dipping tradition. Yes, that’s right, divers cut a hole in a frozen lake and jump in carrying a Christmas tree, descend to the bottom of the lake and surface to face outside temperatures of minus 20 degrees celsius. After taking that plunge the rest of the year is sure to be a breeze.
Check out Liz Taylor’s BBC Breakfast Interview about The Millionaire Party Planner – ‘It’s Eamonn Holmes..he’ll have to wait’…BBC Breakfast Interview
Buying too much food at Christmas time is as much a tradition as the putting up the tree. After all we never know who might drop by unexpectedly and how many extra mouths we’ll have to feed. Most often though we are left with an excess of Christmas treats that we rarely eat at other times of year. So here are some ideas to make the most of them.
Christmas pudding cocktail
You may not be able to manage another morsel of heavy Christmas pud, but what about drinking it. Yes, tis the season to drink cocktails and what better festive choice than a Christmas pudding cocktail. Sounds strange, I know, but stick with me on this one. The leftover Christmas pudding is first made into syrup by mixing with sugar, water and cinnamon and bringing to the boil. The syrup is then added to a brandy, whiskey or sloe gin based cocktail – basically any spirit you would use in a Christmas pudding. Lime juice and ginger beer work well for a non-alcoholic version. BBC good food has full recipes and other tasty ideas for using up the left over pud. Just remember, be creative about how you serve this too – a glass is so ‘last year’!
While we are on the subject of drink, sherry is one of those beverages that we often buy at Christmas and end up throwing away in January. Sherry is a fortified wine, which means that it is longer lasting, but not usually much more than a few weeks. Still that is more than enough time to enjoy its flavour in a whole host of dishes. We often think about sherry as added to trifle sponge, but you can use it in pan sauces to complement chicken, pork and fish in the same way you would any other wine. For an unusual twist to warm a winter evening try the kitchn blog’s sherry-garlic soup with smoked paprika
Nuts are so versatile and nutritious, but once we’ve cracked open a few with our guests we often end up throwing the rest of the bowl in the bin. This is such a shame when they could so easily be used in a whole host of sweet and savoury dishes, from cakes and breads to salads and coleslaws. Or, for something a bit more substantial Jamie Oliver has an incredible nut roast – yes, it’s so good he put the word ‘incredible’ in its name.
Not much tastes better than a sweet satsuma, but sometimes you just can’t eat the whole bag. Depending on many you have left you could make marmalade or juice. But if you’re looking for an unusual cake for your New Year celebrations this satsuma layer cake from food blog, food loves writing is a tasty treat and worth buying extra satsumas just so that there are leftovers to make it. They are an amazing decoration too. Fill a tall storm jar with satsumas and surround with simple white tea lights for a gorgeous table decoration. We’ve used satsumas mixed with apples, pomegranites, cinnamon sticks, cloves, frosted twigs and pea lights as a long, and aromatic, table decoration.
A full cooked ham is one of the delights of Christmas fare and an amazing centrepiece to any festive table, but it’s often only once we’ve cooked it that we realise just how much of it there is. If stored correctly ham should keep for a couple of weeks, and up to a month if frozen. Sandwiches are the obvious choice, but you can use the ham in pasta, salads, pies, quiche, omelettes and soup. And if you follow the recipes at website allrecipes over the festive season you need never eat ham the same way twice.
‘Many people prefer to stay home and party with close friends and family on New Year’s Eve, myself included,’ says event planner to the stars, Liz Taylor. ‘But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to celebrate. We just want to do it our way, and in the comfort of our own home.’
‘Of course everyone’s personal circumstances, style of home and circle of family and friends are different,’ says Liz. ‘But hosting a great party is all about working with what you have and with your guests’ comfort and enjoyment in mind. Every great party starts with the invitation, so whatever theme or style you choose for your New Year’s Eve party, this is your starting point. Simply colour theme your invitation to match the theme of the party. Or add the Luxe factor by having invitations printed onto the labels of miniature bottles of champagne or sending out invitations attached to beautiful, custom designed, elegant masks, for example.’
‘Detail is everything,’ says Liz. ‘From concept to completion, the key to a memorable party is to make sure you have covered every detail to create an event that is as unique as you.’
‘As a host you have certain duties, the first and foremost being sure to make guests feel relaxed and comfortable,’ she explains. ‘If you can’t greet every guest individually nominate a family member or close friend to help. Introduce guests to each other and try to make everyone feel special. Be as attentive to your guests’ needs at the end of the evening as you are at the beginning.’
‘Create a beautiful setting,’ she continues. ‘Take down Christmas decorations and replace with elegant, stylish décor to see in the New Year. Opt for a simple yet classy theme such as monochrome and crystal, or use a stunning floral display as your main focal point. Use clever lighting to create ambience and even think about the aroma of your home, choosing scented candles to enhance the overall experience.’
‘You might also want to extend your party to make use of outdoor space,’ says Liz. ‘Even at this time of year a well-heated marquee provides the ideal blank canvass to create a New Year’s Eve spectacle. Or go for tepee style gazebos, a roaring (yet secure) fire pit and decorate your outside space with hundreds of tea lights. Provide luxurious bean bags and cushions for guests to lounge on. You could even present each guest with their own individual cashmere, monogrammed blanket.’
Most people with children of all ages will want to bring them to a New Year’s Eve party. Unless you decide you want a strictly adult only event, think of your younger guests as your VIPs. ‘If they are happy, the chances are their parents are relaxed and happy,’ says Liz.
She suggests hiring a nanny or children’s entertainer to keep younger guests safe and happy or creating a hi-tech, chill out zone for older children/teenagers. ‘Make the evening really special for them. Hire a pizza chef, set up a mobile oven in the garden and let them create their own,’ she suggests. ‘Set up popcorn, candy floss and sweet or individual food stations or create a build your own gourmet burger bar. Commission your own personal burger wraps, popcorn cartons or pizza boxes to add a real talking point.’
‘Young and old will always delight at the arrival of a vintage ice cream van whatever the time of year,’ she continues. ‘And wow grown up guests by presenting classic or traditional dishes in new ways,’ she continues. ‘A good professional caterer should be able to suggest a top-quality, bespoke menu with a unique, creative flair. Even something as simple as a fish and chip supper can be elevated to new levels if served in your own designed newspaper, perhaps featuring amusing or inspiring personal anecdotes and images about individual guests.’
Keep drinks simple but special is Liz’s advice. ‘Serve up the finest chilled fizz, quality bottles of beer and still and sparkling water, or go for the hot tipple option with spiced mulled cider or wine, with mulled apple juice for the kids,’ she suggests. ‘Again presentation is everything so hire in the professionals to help if you can. Think outside the box and serve hot tipples in vintage tea cups or personally designed mugs. Use sparkling water, fresh juices and fresh fruit to make stylish mocktails for younger guests (and drivers). Fill a cast iron bath with ice and bottles of branded beer. Or ask a mixologist to create a unique New Year’s Eve cocktail just for your guests to enjoy. Whisky based cocktails are currently on trend as are modern twists on vintage classics such as the snowball or egg nog.’
Don’t just think the party ends at midnight. ‘Post midnight munchies always go down well and ensure your guests go home with a full stomach and a warm glow,’ says Liz. ‘Teens (and indeed guests of all ages) might enjoy a mug of hearty soup with hot, crusty, artisan rolls or plates of bacon butties around a campfire, with creamy hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows to follow. Serve in your own customised mugs or thermos flasks and add a dash of good quality brandy for the grown ups. Throw in a spectacular professional firework display to end the evening with a bang.’
Personalised gift bags are also a wonderful finishing touch to a New Year’s Eve Party and are appreciated by guests of all ages. Lovely ideas for grown up gifts include miniatures (perhaps the ingredients along with the recipe for your bespoke cocktail); luxury, personalised chocolates or truffles and scented candles to match the fragrance of those in your home. I love Jo Malone!
‘Or what about a custom designed silver hip flask; key ring or monogrammed blanket along with a retro Polaroid snapshot from the party (or employ a professional photographer to capture the evening which can then be shared with guests online) and a CD featuring the evening’s individually created play list? Or maybe a personalised hangover survival kit?
Liz continues: ‘Custom made goody bags for the kids could include named cupcakes or sticks of rock; personalised ‘cool’ key rings: hot chocolate stirrers; perfume and aftershave miniatures; individualised chocolate treats (eg smartphone, Minecraft, favourite animal etc) and of course lots of old fashioned sweet treats.
And a final New Year’s Eve party tip from Liz? ‘When planning your party do think about the year or at least the day ahead,’ she says. ‘I’m not talking resolutions but I am saying that you should plan to start the New Year in as positively a pleasant way as possible. Make sure you are well stocked up with cereals, fresh pastries, good bread, butter and a selection of jams and spreads plus plenty of fresh juice, tea and coffee for the morning.’
‘Make it easy on yourself and any overnight guests by keeping it simple first thing,’ she suggests. ‘Enjoy a relaxed morning then treat everyone to a full on brunch, complete with Bloody Marys or Bucks Fizz if you fancy. Better still, hire a private dining room and take your house guests out for brunch.’
‘Finally, weather permitting, how about a nice, gentle walk followed by a pot of hot tea with freshly buttered toast and cakes by the fire?’ says Liz. ‘If you are anything like me, your thoughts will already be drifting towards planning next year’s New Year’s Eve party before January has hardly even begun!’
One for the diary – Liz talks about Millionaire Party Planner on Becky Want’s BBC Radio Manchester show on Mon 21 Dec at 2.30pm!
Millionaire Party Planner, Channel 4, 30 Dec at 10pm
TLC staged a glittering cocktail party at the amazing Elixir – check this out for images: CELEBRITY PARTY
A party magnate’s survival guide to enjoying the festive season
Let’s face it, if nothing else parties should be fun. So, if you’re beginning to feel your Christmas calendar is more chore than cheer, my survival guide to enjoying the festive season will help keep your social whirl spinning with delight.
Back to basics: We all know not to drink alcohol on an empty stomach, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. Work events in particular can be occasions when you eat late, so make sure that your diet earlier in the day includes some slow release carbohydrates – I always find it helps to eat a banana before I go out. If canapes are on offer, rather than drink on an empty stomach, eat them.
Keep hydrated: Keeping hydrated isn’t just something to think about in warm weather. Alternating an alcoholic drink with water or soft drink can help to keep you hydrated and your head will thank you for it the next day.
Forget routine: You may have set nights when you do particular things but when it comes to the party season that can all go out of the window. You can find yourself partying on a Tuesday and staying in on a Friday. There is no point in getting stressed about trying to do everything because you can’t. Remember, the festive season comes round but once a year, so whatever days your invitations land on, make the most of them.
Look after your feet: There’s nothing worse than hobbling home in sore feet at the end of the night. Well, there is, walking home bare foot because you can’t bear to keep your heels on for another second. For those moments, fold-up shoes are a life-saver and fit into most handbags, or even the pocket of your coat.
Stay upright: At many Christmas parties there will be someone who has one too many and ends up horizontal on the floor or a couch, with their shirt tails out or showing their designer knickers. It always seems funny at the time, unless that someone is you. Don’t let it be. Easier than it sounds, I know. If you are at a party where servers are coming round with top-ups, don’t let your glass be refilled until you are near the bottom, that way you have a better idea of how many you’ve had.
Stay active: When there is so much fun stuff to do it is easy to put exercise of any kind out of the window. It may only be for a few weeks, but if you are going to party hard you need to make sure that you look after your body so that it can keep up. Don’t let yourself get sluggish, even if it’s just a brisk ten minute walk each day, keep moving. Better still, hit the dance floor and really let go.
Know when to call it a night: No-one likes to be a party-pooper, but staying until the sun comes up again just because you are too tired to leave is not helping anyone. Once the main party is finished don’t be dragged to another bar for a night-cap that turns into two or three. If it’s a one-off that may be fine, but if you’re looking to go out again within the next day or so you need time to rest as well.
Plan your getaway: I don’t want to sound like a public service announcement but you’d be surprised just how many people go for a night out, particularly around Christmas time, with little thought about how they are going to get home again. Don’t leave this to chance. You might be lucky and get a taxi as soon as you leave the venue or you could find yourself stood freezing in a queue for over an hour before you can get a cab. Whatever you do, make sure you know how you are getting back before you get there. And if you are organising a party, think about group transport for your guests, particularly if you are using a venue out of town.
Sleep: Hopefully all that partying will mean that you’ll be asleep almost as soon as your head hits the pillow. When you’re out late it can be difficult to get as much sleep as usual, but catch up where you can. And factor in some rest too – you’ll need energy for your next party.
Relax and have fun: This is key to any survival guide to enjoying the festive season. When your diary gets full both day and night it can be easy to start to feel stressed and forget that socialising is meant to be fun. The best way to survive the party season is to simply enjoy it, and what that means will be different for everyone. Find what suits you, don’t take on too many other commitments at this time of year, try new things, accept invitations, appreciate good company, and if you find you’ve given it a go and it’s not your thing, save your energy for something that is.
If you have enjoyed ‘A party magnate’s survival guide to enjoying the festive season’ – take a look at other posts for enjoying the festive celebrations.
WELCOME TO THE GLITTERING WORLD OF PARTY PLANNING IN THE NORTH WEST, IN C4’S NEW DOCUMENTARY, ‘THE MILLIONAIRE PARTY PLANNER’
Broadcasts at 10.00pm on 30th December on Channel 4
From the cube in your drink to dynamic ice sculptures. Table centrepieces to dramatic floral installations. Canapes to authentic street-food experiences. The party industry in the UK is now worth millions and with the well-heeled splashing out up to a million on parties, weddings and special celebrations, Party Planner Liz Taylor has never been so busy
Liz, who has been in the business for over 30 years, knows that in this ferociously competitive industry you’re only as good as your last bash.
Helped by Liz’s expert team of “super suppliers’ – a chef, florist, lighting director and personal assistant, Liz will be throwing three lavish parties.
Across the hour we’ll discover what exactly does it take to stay on top of your game in an industry that can earn you over £100k a year.
First on the agenda is to organise a big budget 40th birthday bash for Liz’s nutritionist. Liz has decided to transform her home into a nightclub complete with a cocktail bar and disco. Exotic canapés created by the chef to Madonna and a 3D birthday cake featuring the party’s host on the treadmill are just some of the crazy and creative ideas on the menu.
Next on the list is a Bar mitzvah where it’s all about making a grand entrance to the party.
Then finally there’s Marina Dalglish’s charity ball. With over five hundred guests attending including footballers and soap stars, this is one of the North West’s biggest nights on the social calendar. But with just 48 hours to go, trouble is brewing… Liz hates the dance floor, the entrance is ‘shocking’ and the pudding is terrible. It’s all change at the eleventh hour as Liz battles to get one of the most important events of the year right on the night.
Liz Taylor said: “I’m hugely excited to invite viewers into my challenging world of party planning. I have had to be a fearless and feisty, fabulous and fun businesswoman committed to delivering the very best of parties!
The Millionaire Party Planner will be packed with high drama, extravagant spending, lavish locations, high fashion, incredible food and flowers & multiple party reveals. Executive Produced by Oliver Wright.