We all like to think that it’s still within us to go out and have fun until the early hours. Yet most big nights out these days don’t work out that way – often by midnight, we’re at home with our pyjamas on and fast asleep.
Personally, given the option to head out to a few bars or have friends over instead, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick the latter. Staying in doesn’t have to be boring – not with Portmeirion’s guide to the perfect night in anyway…
Whether you’re preparing for an evening with friends, family, your partner or on your own, there are plenty of things to do including dinner parties, film-fests and pampering.
The Perfect Night in… with Friends
It doesn’t matter if you’re getting the girls round for a movie night and face masks, or if the guys are coming over to watch the footie with beers and pizza, it’s always exciting to turn the evening into something unexpected.
For a girly night, create small gift bags to hand out and include a scented candle, some sweets and a face mask. If you want something chilled, try creating your own afternoon tea with homemade cakes, pastries and sandwiches. Sara Miller London Portmeirion has a modern and vibrant tableware collection to create the perfect afternoon tea setting.
If you’re planning a lad’s night in serve up some pizzas or finger food such as chicken wings and sticky ribs. For a mixed group, there are plenty of options, wine and cheese night is always a winner, as is opening a bottle of bubbly or serving up cocktails. For a last minute get together, keep it simple (but still classy) by serving refreshing drinks with summer fruits.
It’s always easier to plan the perfect night in when there’s a pre-set theme such as the World Cup, Super Bowl or a Royal Wedding. However, no one is stopping you creating your own theme – try looking at the news or at upcoming events for inspiration.
The Perfect Night in… with Family
Families are easier to please (sometimes), although the pressure of hosting for them can sometimes seem more stressful!
As with a night in for friends, wine and cheese are sure to be a hit. Buy a selection of cheeses for guests to help themselves to. Include an unusual flavour as well as traditional cheeses such as cheddar or Red Leicester. Pick up plenty of crackers and some additional cold food options such as pork pies, a selection of cold meats, chutneys, olives and pâté.
If you’re planning a night in to spend quality time with your own family and want some entertainment for the kids, how about playing some games and enjoying a home cooked family favourite – and don’t forget the dessert! It’s common to plan the perfect family night in during the festive season and watch our favourite Christmas movies with minced pies and other festive delights, but this is something that should be done all year round.
The Perfect Night in… with your Partner
Sometimes, you want to spend a night in with your partner and enjoy some quality time together, relaxing with a movie and romantic dinner for two.
Only you will know the type of evening to plan, but if you want to show them how much they mean to you plan a surprise night in and cook a 3-course meal of their favourite foods or order their favourite takeaway.
If you want to set a relaxing mood, invest in some luxury scented candles. Scatter the candles around the home, have a candlelit dinner and a relaxing bath. As far as romance goes, little things can go a long way. You don’t have to splash out on expensive gifts or dinner in a fancy restaurant to show someone how much they mean to you. Planning the perfect night in can be a priceless way to show them.
The Perfect Night in…with You and Only You
Every now and then, it’s great to spend some time at home, alone. It’s a good way to chill out, clear your mind and wind down after a busy week. It’s a wonderful feeling wearing comfortable clothes, eating your favourite meal and watching a great film or TV series.
Having some ‘you time’, is ideal for catching up on things that you’ve missed, whether it’s Facetiming a friend in Australia, organising time with friends and family or just switching off from the world for a few hours. Whatever your reason, enjoy it.
Whether your perfect night in involves cooking some culinary delights for you and your guests, inviting your friends round for a big event or just simply an overdue night in with your partner, remember to take photos so that the memories can be treasured for years to come.