Autumn Winter Entertaining Trends

TOAST talks autumn/winter entertaining trends with the experts

Summer may be over but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop - far from it – there’s a whole new party season to explore, celebrate and plan for. TOAST talks to come of the leading industry experts to hear their thoughts on what’s hot when it comes to entertaining this autumn/winter, plus their top tips for being totally on trend.

Yes, sure, summer is great because the weather is nice (sometimes…) but as the days get shorter and the evenings darker – autumn/winter is a truly wonderful time to entertain. The colder weather means open fires, hearty food, red wine and a whole host of other lovely autumn treats and there is SO much to celebrate – from Halloween and Bonfire Night to Christmas time and New Year’s Eve or simply ‘just because’ – there are dozens of opportunities to have some fun and entertain over the next few months.

So pop the BBQ in the shed and the shatterproof glasses back in the cupboard for next year’s al fresco fun, because now it’s time to go for gold as Tina Nisson advises, and think outside of the box when it comes to your theme according to Apollo Events, and start planning some seriously stylish celebrations. Here TOAST talks to the crème de crème of event industry pros to get their inspiring thoughts on how to throw the best looking, best tasting and most memorable party around this autumn / winter.   


What's On The Menu? 

Famous for their incredible food stations, Bubble Food are also internationally recognized for their unique and boundless creativity, as well as the quality of their food. Cooler weather calls for heartier food, and you’ll be pleased to hear that this year is all about enjoying a few of life’s guiltier pleasures…

A/W 2017 is all about celebrating full fats with a twist – think bone marrow, beef dripping chips, pork scratchings, bread and dripping, raclette station – but all created in a unique and exciting way” explains Bubble Food's Managing Director Michael Collins. 

Bubble Food Crab And Smoked Trout Mouse Beetroot Gel Red Chard And Avocado Puree

Bubble Food Beef Potato Dumpling Crystallised Red Cabbage

Bubble Food Courgette Flower Caprine Golden Beetroot Pine Nut

Monochrome Pouring Burnt Rose Hot Pink Cream Bubble Food

(Bubble Food Dish 1: Crab and smoked trout mousse, beetroot gel, red chard and avocado puree. Dish 2:  Beef, purple potato dumpling, and crystallised red cabbage. Dish 3:  Cougette flower, caprine, golden beetroot, and pine nut. Dish 4: Monochrome – chocolate and cardomom mousse, hot pink burnt orange and rose cream).

Mexican culture has been one of the key inspirations this year from fashion, film and interiors, through to food and drink, and so Mexican food continues to be a hot trend. We have embraced this with the creation of a stylish, yet bold, food station - featuring a range of Mexican inspired street food delights, the food is set against a backdrop which incorporates a modern interpretation of the country’s striking colour aesthetic” he adds.

Mexican Food Station Bubble Food

Bubble Food Stations

(Bubble Food's Mexican Food Station )

Bubble Food Dessert Table AW

(Bubble Food's Beehive Food Station )

Emotional connection is still incredibly important this year - we encourage this rich guest experience through creating surprising dishes that inspire curiosity, nostalgic treats and using multi-sensory elements. We’re revisiting old favourites and bringing them up-to-date - think English breakfast, Pot Noodles, banana split, rum baba ‘hot dogs’, penny sweets and a sprinkling of alcoholic sherbet Dip Dab!”

Deeelicious. And speaking of delicious, experimental food installation experts and inventors of many show-stopping contraptions Lick Me I’m Delicious brand new Hot Chocolate Tap? This crazy looking trolley, complete with colourful pipes and mirrored side, produces an everlasting flow of perfectly tempered chocolate ready to be frothed, whipped and beaten into a truly memorable hot chocolate, ready for your guests to enjoy. 

Lick Me Im Delicious Chocolate Tap

Lick Me Im Delicious Tap  

Go For Gold

Food presentation is key at any party or event and can instantly take your menu to the next level as well as adding real wow. Someone who knows this more than most is expert food stylist and designer Tina Nisson who designs and makes modern, impressive and innovative canapé trays in Perspex, acrylics and wood. She also offers a bespoke event design service where she can create mood boards, develop themes, source props, design food stations, find the right florist, attend client tastings, hire equipment and curate your event, up to and including packing and building food stations on the day. Phew. Tina’s top tip for this year? Go for gold.

After a long summer of tropical pineapples and pink flamingos we are toning down for A/W 2017.  Rich, heavy colours - especially in matt - are on their way in. Sumptuous plum, deep blue décor and the pantone colour ‘shaded spruce’ are all amazing paired up with a touch of gold,” explains Tina.

“Don’t add too many colours in to the mix for your event though - a little restraint goes a long way. If you’ve got some tired service wear, get it flocked!! And serve your favorite canapés from gold bowls sat on top of the velvet cushion-like trays… just don’t forget the gold!”

Tina Nisson AW 2017 Moodboard

Tina Nisson Designs 2017

Tina Nisson Canepe 

Magical Metalics 

When entertaining, it’s important to create a stylish, celebratory ‘party’ atmosphere with some fabulous décor that your guests will love. In addition to their lovely shop in Brighton, Peach Blossom’s online emporium is an inspirational selection of pretty and stylish decorations and party accessories from around the world. Peach Blossom's founder Alyssa’s top tips for A/W this year include fab focal points, rose gold and even more unicorns. We’re sold.

“One of the number one trends to continue in to autumn/winter is the colour rose gold. It’s being used in birthday parties, baby showers, weddings and hen parties. It’s such a glam colour and makes the perfect accent to other colours. Our Rose Gold Orbz Balloons are just beautiful and they're selling like hot cakes at the moment!” explains Alyssa.

Peach Blossom Rose Gold
(Peach Blossom's Rose Quartz Balloons start from £7.50)

“Unicorns continue to be a popular trend and interestingly this a theme which has been used in different age groups so it’s popular for not only children’s birthday parties but also adult and teen birthday parties too which goes to show everyone loves a bit of magic and sparkle!” she adds.

“My top tip for a beautifully decorated event this autumn / winter is if you have a big space to fill, focus your attention on one area - having to fill an entire room with decorations can be daunting and can make a room feel a little empty if you don’t put up enough decor. You can get around this by creating a focal point such as a dessert table, or a photo booth backdrop. Go all out on decorating these ‘areas’ and your guests will be left blown away by your efforts!”

Dessert Table By Peach Blossom

Balloons have absolutely exploded this year (sometimes literally), with balloon garlands and oversized versions appearing at some of the most stylish parties and events that we’ve seen. Responsible for the majority of this oh-so-fashionable inflatable fun is Bubblegum Balloons, who much like Alyssa are predicting a whole lot of metallic magic this autumn/winter.

“The big trend in autumnal balloon decor is metallic plume, but not as you've seen it before. Whether going all out and making entire balloon tassel tails full of metallic plume, or adding tiny touches to tissue tassels to make the colour pop, it's guaranteed to be a party pleaser.” explains Ellen.

“Our top tip for autumn? Use white and silver. Everyone else will be using darker colours, but our Innocence Crazy Garland is the perfect accessory to add a chic element to any celebration!”

Bubblegum Balloons Gold

Bubblegum Balloons November Glam

(Bubblegum Baloons' Giant balloons start from £24.00)


Fabulous Florals

Rebel Rebel, one of the UK’s most exciting and highly regarded florists, has been creating beautiful, bold and creative florals for nearly 20 years and have a reputation for originality, creativity and quality. With the likes of SelfridgesNike, Tate and Stella McCartney amongst their clients, founders Athena Duncan and Mairead Curtin certainly know a thing or two about what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to event floristry.

“Tropicals and orchids are returning but this time mixed in with garden flowers - a bit of added exotic. There are some amazing dark Vanda orchids which, twinned with beautiful British autumn leaves, will be the dogs’!  Also, we really think lilies are going to make a comeback – it’s their time,” explains Athena

“When it comes to vases and vessels we recently got a gorgeous lot of marble column vases that came from the marble mountains in Carrera. Bottles, jars, ceramics are all great. Our lovely wedding specialist Phil has also been experimenting with concrete recently

Rebel Rebel Tropical

Rebel Rebel Vases

Bloomroom By Rebel Rebel

Creative Themeing

Expert event consultants Apollo are renowned in the industry for organising some of the most breath-taking and amazing themed parties in the UK. Rather than sticking to the same old ideas, Apollo's Managing Director Tim Hanbury encourages people to be brave when choosing a theme and with 15 years in the party planning business - Tim loves a challenge!

Our recent Apollo parties include a Rococo themed 50th birthday, a Russian 18th, a Hockney themed 50th, an Artist party and a tropical themed party for 200 guests in Hampshire” explains Tim proudly.

Themed parties are going to be big this autumn/winter but think outside the box – how about a summer themed party at Christmas? Or Christmas on a desert island?! Heating in marquees is so good now, you can use them all year round” he suggests.

My advice when theming is make sure that both the organiser and the client are clear on how they see the theme. Spend your budget on eye-catching pieces - the bar, the nightclub area, table centres, etc. and don’t be afraid to go BIG with a theme running though all elements of the party including the food, decor, dance floor, even the waiting staff!

We always tell clients that a memorable party doesn’t have to be on-trend. It just needs to stand out and be unique!”

Apollo Party

House Toadstools Apollo

Flying Cards Apollo Events

Mclintock 50Th Birthday Party Apollo Events

Mclintock 50Th Birthday Party By Apollo Events

For more autumn/winter entertaining ideas, head over to TheEdit for more inspiration and advice. 

To hear more from all of the vendors featured in this articel, take a look at our recent Spotlight Interviews with them here:  Lick Me I’m Delicious, Bubble Food, Tina NissonRebel Rebel or Apollo Events you can find their profiles to get in touch with them and book your next event in TOAST’s Little Black Book.


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