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Planning Retirement Online

Let's Party!

April 2012  

Let's party in later life article series...

This series looks at some of the more unusual ideas to help you celebrate with style and panache – at affordable price levels, of course!

To see the full list of articles see the main Celebrating in Later Life page

Let's Party!  Special celebrations:  
DON’T UNDER-ESTIMATE THE NAPKIN!

by LaterLife features editor Sally Smith

Napkins are an essential for any party or celebration; for formal dinners of course you need them on the table; for more casual parties you still need napkins (or serviettes as we used to call them) when serving snacks or cocktail food.

NapkinsThings have come a long way from the traditional white pressed linen napkin. Now you can buy lovely linen napkins in a range of natural shades:
Not on the High Street offers napkins in off white, natural and even black natural linen.

You can also find natural linen in a range of designs, for instance there is a lovely choice of striped real linen napkins (£3.99 each) from LinenMe

You don’t have to stick with linen; there is also a wide selection of beautiful fabric napkins in all sorts of colours and materials, including fabrics interwoven with coloured threads and in a number of lovely designs.

The presentation of the napkin is almost as important as the colour and feel, and how lovely to create a special design for your party. Youtube is a fabulous help here as you can learn to make a range of great shapes and designs to enhance the table. We found the following video clips which are very clear and don’t include a mass of time consuming advertising, but with careful searching you can find instructions on how to create a number of special shapes with that traditional linen or fabric napkin:

Romantic heart

Lovely flower

A swan or a peacock

But of course for many of us, hosting a party is challenging and expensive enough without investing in costly linen napkins. This is where the disposable napkins come in, but no longer do we have to rely on rough paper napkins that tear on first contact. Today you can find disposable napkins that really do feel like material. John Lewis for instance do a range of what they term as “linen feel” disposable napkins; they are thick enough so you could even make them into special decorative shapes; and they certainly won’t break the bank - you can find them at Waitrose for just £3 for a pack of 12

You can also find a great variety of napkins with individual messages on them for special occasions - birthdays, anniversaries and even just fun messages. One step further, and why not design your own?
You need to allow a good two weeks or so for delivery, but you can choose the colour and also select the design created for a range of occasions including even a golfer and the costs seem reasonable (£39.49 for 50 napkins) for something that will give a very individual touch to your party. Visit partyrama.co.uk

For a real talking piece, you can find some weird and wonderful napkins on the internet. I was rather taken with the novelty origami napkins that come with different origami patterns printed on them, so guests sit down and are immediately taken up with trying to create their own special napkin; certainly an ice breaker!

Don’t leave napkins to the last minute or consider them as a quick final touch. With a bit of care and planning, the right napkins can add considerably to any special event.

 

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