How to throw a magical New Year’s Eve dinner

Full place setting with cutlery

New Year’s Eve is surely one of the most exiting nights on the social calendar – an evening to celebrate, be merry, reflect on the past year and spend time with the people who really matter.

If you’re planning to have friends and family over this year, you’ll no doubt be keen to rise to the occasion and throw a truly memorable bash. To help your evening go off with a bang, here are our top tips for throwing a magical New Year’s Eve party.


New Year’s Eve calls for a certain amount of celebratory glitz and glamour, and there’s no reason why your table shouldn’t be just as sparkly as your guests’ evening dresses.

When it comes to your table decoration, embrace the decadence of the festive season by using table runners and napkins with a metallic sheen, for example silver or gold – or, alternatively, use fresh white napkins rolled up inside gold coloured napkin rings, with will provide a great contrast to sparkling white tableware.

Add a sense of festive fun to each place setting by using party poppers to create unique, personalised name placeholders. Simply remove the supplied label and replace with your own design – this could be as simple as writing your guests’ names in your best calligraphy, or, if you’re feeling more ambitious, create a design on the computer and print out using self-adhesive sticker paper, which can be found easily from good stationery suppliers.

For the centrepiece, why not make use of leftover Christmas decorations? Sparkling baubles look fantastic when presented in an hourglass-shaped vase, tying in the countdown theme, and bell-shaped decorations are particularly apt, as they can help you to ‘ring in’ the New Year in style!


Buffet meals lend themselves particularly well to New Year’s Eve parties, especially following all the traditional heavy sit-down meals of the Christmas period. Small, bitesize canapés are ideal served on sharing platters along the table, and things like crostinis and bruschetta are very quick and easy to prepare.

To really impress, however, make the highlight of your buffet a selection of seafood bites, presented in seashells and served in a clear glass bowl filled with crushed ice cubes – this is a visually stunning dish that can incorporate seafood like raw scallops, smoked salmon or even chilli prawns, depending on your preference. Green avocado and rich red cherry tomato to garnish also add a colourful festive touch.


Of course, the most important part of the evening is the countdown to midnight, and you can make it even more fun by adopting the Spanish ‘good luck’ tradition of encouraging guests to eat a dozen grapes as the clock strikes twelve. Serve the grapes on individual skewers, or alternatively present them in cocktail glasses alongside elegant flutes of champagne.

For added wow factor, incorporate indoor sparklers into your dessert presentation. Try presenting a layered trifle or tiramisu in a champagne glass for real visual impact (or cupcakes, for an easier option), before garnishing with cocoa, espresso beans or even edible glitter, along with a lit indoor sparkler for each serving – a guaranteed way to inject some fireworks into your evening!

After all that entertaining, give your dishwasher a good start to the New Year by freshening it up with Finish Dishwasher Cleaner. Cutting through grease and limescale, this speedy solution leaves your dishwasher sparkling clean for sparkling dishes.