December 3rd 2013
So you’ve picked the place for your staff or social Christmas bash with the help of our guide to the Top 10 Party Venues in Hong Kong. Now all that’s left is to plan every last detail to perfection, which, unfortunately, is just as difficult as it sounds. But fret not festive funsters, as we pin down one of Hong Kong’s premium party planners and get her top tips for throwing a fail-safe celebration.
With a band, a bar, a restaurant and a private party venue under her belt, it’s safe to say that Winnie Lam is an authority on entertainment. Starting out with the artistic Arbuthnot Road bar Philia Lounge – which gave way to French bistro-style eatery Brasserie Del’ile in 2007 – this US-educated Hong Konger has years of experience being the hostess with the most.
Her most recent projects include London-based record label Pour le Monde, set up to support Paris indie/pop band The Penelopes, and Hong Kong ‘Rent-a-House-Party’ concept Philia Home. The latter, tucked away behind Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan, has hosted everything from small wedding ceremonies to large corporate mixers – not to mention the Red Hot Chilli Peppers before the Hong Kong commencement of their 2011 world tour!
Food (and drink) for Thought
The first thing you need to decide is what kind of party you’re going to throw – a sit-down dinner or drinks and mingling. Cocktail parties are easy to arrange because you don’t need to ask about food allergies or vegetarians, but always make sure you have more than enough mixers and ice – not to mention alcohol!
Get the Best Guests
The guest list is a very important factor when it comes to atmosphere, but who you invite will really depend on the purpose of the event. I always try to keep the male-female ratio similar as it makes things more dynamic.
Be the Host with the Most
Playing host is always a bit stressful, but there are some rules you can follow to minimise the trauma. Firstly, don’t freak out and start texting your guests like crazy if no-one’s there right at the beginning. Everyone likes to be fashionably late, so just keep the faith and relax. Tell everyone to turn up an hour earlier than you actually want to receive them and they’ll probably be right on time.
I think providing some sort of entertainment is crucial as it will likely be the highlight of the evening and what people remember most. The entertainment you choose really depends on the type of atmosphere you want to create. I’ve arranged everything from strippers for wild hen parties to jazz bands for relaxed networking events, dance DJs, karaoke and poker games. The only real limit is your own imagination.
Turf Out Tactfully
Philia Home can host cocktail parties for up to 80 people and sit down dinners for up to 24. Chefs and serving staff are provided by sister restaurant Brasserie Del’ile for a minimum spend of HK$6,000 on weekdays and HK$8,000 on weekends. The venue can also be hired without staff for HK$2,000 an hour. Call 2147-2389 of email via the Philia Home Localiiz profile page to make a booking.