How to plan a party in a large house holiday cottages

Party Houses

How to plan a party in a large house

Kate A 06 February 2020

Our tips and tricks for a smooth celebration.

What kind of event are you having? Is it a large occasion with hundreds of guests, a casual cocktail party or a kid’s birthday celebration?

Spectacular properties are our forte and within our collection of party houses in the UK, you’ll find excellent features to make your celebrations go with a real bang, like hot tubs, cinema and games rooms, swimming pools, waterside views and rooftop terraces. 

It’s essential to have a chic space for entertaining guests for a casual soiree, a luxurious dining area if you’re planning a formal dinner or large grounds with beautiful gardens for grand get-togethers. 

So, if you’d like to discover how to plan a party in a large house, let us spark your imagination with the following list of essentials. And to browse our full collection of extraordinary large houses, just click the button below. 

How to plan a garden party

If you’ve got a special occasion to celebrate, why not gather your favourite people within the magical setting of a flower-filled garden? Whether you fancy sipping cocktails beside your own private swimming pool, tucking into fresh strawberries and cream beneath an arbour of scented roses or playing croquet on a pristinely manicured lawn, we’ve got some beautiful large holiday lets in the UK that will transform your garden party into something extra special. 

Castle By The Water | Sleeps 22 + 4 dogs | Cornwall

Castle By The Water

Nestled beside the winding River Tamar, this impressive castle in Cornwall boasts 55 acres of woodland gardens and grounds. Lay out a delicious spread of cakes laden with summer berries on one of the three terraces facing the river, light the BBQ, and make a celebratory toast around the flickering flames of the toasty firepit. Need to cool down? Just throw some inflatables in the outdoor swimming pool and dive right in!

Top party tip #1: Preparation is everything

The shopping for your party can take a couple of trips so check your stock a few days before; cook what you can ahead of time; arrange a chef and bar staff so they can source top ingredients; even the cleaning and arranging of furniture can be done several hours early. You have plenty of time, so don’t frazzle yourself with last-minute necessities. That time should be spent enjoying dressing up and greeting your guests. 

Discover more garden party ideas with our ultimate guide.

Christmas celebrations

Hiring a large party house for your Christmas celebrations is the perfect way to add a little extra sparkle to the festive season. Enjoy traditions of old, roasting chestnuts on an open fire and singing carols around the tree, or begin new ones amidst the indulgent bubbles of a private hot tub with a bottle of fizz and a backdrop of mountains, lakes and forests dusted in snow. 

Honeyberry House | Sleeps 16 + 3 dogs | Scotland

Honeyberry House

Feast like royalty at this luxurious farmhouse on a 1,000-acre farm near the Angus coastline. A spacious dining area offers a beautiful spot to carve the turkey and pull those Christmas crackers, while the lounge provides an atmospheric space to pour drinks and get merry beside the fire. Outside, guests can toast some marshmallows on the firepit before sinking into the steaming hot tub and listening out for those elusive jingle bells. 

Top party tip #2: The personal invitation

Before arriving at your destination, treat your guests to a surprise invite sent through the post or, even better, hand-delivered. Add a personal touch, something to make the invite really stand out and give the guests a taste of what is to come. If it’s a small gathering, handwrite to each attendee or for larger groups, make use of themed stamps and photos for quick ways to personalise each letter. Entice your guests with unique and memorable creations such as origami cards, a short video, or an interactive dot-to-dot invite.

Find some more Christmas party ideas with our ultimate guide.

How to plan a birthday party

Whether you are celebrating a 1st, 18th, 30th, 50th or even a 100th birthday, you’re sure to find the perfect venue for a milestone occasion within our collection of party houses in the UK. From small sophisticated soirees to big showstopping events, these one-of-a-kind properties pack a punch when it comes to entertainment facilities, leaving the party planner with more time to focus on the personal touches. 

The Hay House Retreat | Sleeps 18 + 5 dogs | Brecon Beacons

The Hay House Retreat

Set within 5 acres of landscaped grounds, this 17th-century farmhouse in the Brecon Beacons offers an enchanting backdrop for a birthday party. Regardless of the number of the candles on the cake, this wisteria-clad beauty caters for all ages, with a games room, children’s play area, and a wood-fired hot tub overlooking the Wye Valley. On fine days, the party can be hosted in the garden with its large seating area, or there’s a charming red brick barn which offers covered hay bale seating and plenty of space for fun and games. 

Top party tip #3: Party favours

Like the invites, these can and should be personalised. Anything can make a wonderful party favour, from traditional mini bottles of drink and perfumes to the more unusual tiny coffee jars, plants or biscuits personalised to the taste of each attendee. Leave your guests with a memento to remind them of all the fun they had while partying away. Why not bring a camera or two to pass around so people can snap their own polaroid pics? This makes great entertainment and wonderful DIY party favours.

Discover how to plan a birthday party with our ultimate guide.

How to plan a murder mystery party

A murder mystery party is a hugely entertaining experience where you and your guests can spend the evening enjoying great food and wine, solving clues, and seeing who can uncover the killer first. It’s a brilliant chance to unleash your creative skills as you cunningly scatter clues around your party venue for guests to find. And you could even include prizes at the end for guests who guessed the killer correctly, had the best costume or played the best character.

Chase House | Sleeps 17 + 2 dogs | Wiltshire

Chase House

This atmospheric period property is brimming with rooms that are perfect for hiding the evidence for your murder mystery evening. Light the open fires for some ambience, dine in either the magnificent Tudor dining room or outside in the exotic Japanese garden and, after you’ve solved the clues, you can unwind with your guests in the sauna and hot tub.

Top party tip #4: Seasonal catering

Fresh and seasonal cuisine makes for delicious dining, so do some research on the region you’re headed to, then get chopping or hire a private chef to do the hard work for you. For a chill party with a relaxed atmosphere, canapés and buffet options allow guests to dip into the dishes whenever they fancy, keeping people on their feet and mingling. 

If you are including a sit-down dinner but want to ensure party energy remains lively, provide a tapas-style dinner – picky eaters will thank you. Formal dinners and fine dining are essential for elegant occasions; they provide the opportunity to create wonderful centrepieces, highlight local delicacies and have fun with the presentation of the meal. And if you're in doubt whether to provide light buffet-style or a sit down three-course dinner, have both!

Make your murder mystery party go with a real ‘bang’ with our ultimate guide. 

How to plan an engagement party

If your partner has popped the big question, then an engagement party is one of the best ways to celebrate this momentous occasion. It’s a chance to gather all your loved ones, show off that sparkling ring, and get to know your new in-laws before the special day.

Cotswold Farm | Sleeps 19 + 2 dogs | Cotswolds

Cotswold Farm

Make a statement by hosting an engagement party in this Grade II-listed farmhouse in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Set against a breathtaking backdrop of formal gardens and 80 acres of rolling countryside, this exquisite venue certainly has the wow factor. As well as a vast dining room, there are four reception areas for guests to mingle, a grass tennis court and a games room with table tennis and table football. 

Top party tip #5: Cocktails or Champagne

The eternal conundrum, do you dip your toe into the exhaustive world of cocktails or stick with the classic mix of champagne and wines? There’s nothing like hearing the pop of a champagne cork to mark a celebration. Hiring a sommelier to select the perfect meal pairings will only increase guests’ enjoyment of the dining. Or, you could set up a drinks station where guests can try their hand at making new cocktails themselves for even more fun. 

You’ll find plenty more tips in our ultimate guide to engagement party ideas

How to plan a hen party

Celebrate those final days of being single with a pre-wedding getaway in one of our hen party houses. It’s a chance for some well-deserved pampering with the girls as you all get excited about your upcoming nuptials. Why not pick one of our large houses with spa facilities, a swimming pool or a hot tub for the most indulgent of breaks away?

Milkers Byre | Sleeps 14 | Northumberland

Invite your hens to this stunning barn conversion in Northumberland. Nestled within acres of beautiful countryside on a working farm, it’s a truly tranquil setting for a hen weekend to remember. For entertainment, there’s a games room with a pool table, and for ultimate relaxation, there’s a bubbling hot tub, sumptuous bathrooms and bedrooms and lavish interiors throughout. You’ll also be perfectly placed for countryside strolls, so make sure you pack your wellies and your best country attire and get outside in the fresh air. 

Top party tip #6: Lighting is everything

If you are outdoors, time your party to ensure guests arrive to watch the sunset. If you’re inside, then add strategically placed lamps and lights to warm rooms and light up particularly stunning features. For simplicity and elegance, drape fairy lights across the venue – they always provide a magical backdrop to any soiree or dinner.

Uncover some alternative hen party ideas with our ultimate guide. 

How to plan a stag party

Gather the gang, load the car and set off to one of our stag do party houses for the most exciting way to celebrate the groom’s upcoming marriage. Games rooms, cinema rooms, and a host of local activities are just some of the things you can look forward to, and it’s a lot easier to organise than a stag weekend abroad (there’s always one that forgets his passport!).

The Grain Dryer | Sleeps 13 + 2 dogs | Gloucestershire

The Grain Dryer

With a pool table and table football in the games area, a projector room for watching films or playing on the Xbox, and a lavish hot tub outside, this luxury stag party venue is simply bursting with fun entertainment. Light the BBQ for a sizzling feast or take a short walk to the local pub for a delicious meal and a pint, and be sure to make the most of the thrilling local attractions such as Go Ape, May Hill Brewery and Clearwell Caves. 

Top party tip #7: Create a playlist

Great music can set the atmosphere for your party. Whether you need upbeat dance hits that will get people on their feet or nostalgic songs and instrumentals to play in the background during dinner, ensure you find something to suit your party style. For bigger gatherings, nothing beats a live band. Work with the musicians to tailor the songs in the set to suit your special occasion. Spotify and YouTube are great places to source ready-made playlists.

Explore some more UK stag weekend ideas with our ultimate guide. 

Party planning checklist:

Have you got all you need for the perfect party? We’ve created a short party planning checklist, so you know you have got it all sussed out.

  • A fabulous venue
  • Invites designed and sent
  • Menu plan (incl. drinks options)
  • Sweet treats
  • Centrepieces
  • DIY stations
  • Party favours prepped
  • Decorations
  • A tailor-made playlist

Now you know how to plan a party, get started by choosing the perfect venue from our collection of large houses in the UK. 

Need some more inspiration?

Check out some more of our party planning guides for more great ideas:

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

Win the ultimate Eurovision celebration stay
Just For Fun
Sarah P 17 April 2023
Where to stay for major events in the UK
Kate A 20 December 2022
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Big Domain is an appointed representative of ITC Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their registration number is 313486) and which is permitted to advise on and arrange general insurance contracts as an intermediary.
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Big Domain | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210.