Bonfire night (otherwise known as Guy Fawkes night) is held on the 5th November and is celebrated across the UK. The holiday is celebrated with fireworks, sparklers, bonfires and toffee apples. Often local villages and towns will organise fireworks displays for those living in the local area to watch, but smaller scale parties and festivities are also common. With the chilly autumn weather, an indoor party with plenty of warm nibbles and seasonal tipples such as warm spiced cider can make for a wonderful evening.
But what is bonfire night? The bonfire night tradition is celebrated across the UK, with lots of regional differences, and is rooted in the commemoration of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot, when a group of Roman Catholics, enraged by the policies of King James I, planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament as well as the King himself in order to clear the way for the re-establishment of Catholic rule in Britain. The conspirators were betrayed, however, and all, including the eponymous Guy Fawkes, were killed resisting capture or executed for treason. In the aftermath, the 5th of November was declared a holiday in order to commemorate the day that the King and Parliament were not, in fact, blown up. Ever since, bonfire night has been widely celebrated in the UK and in many countries formerly part of the British Empire.
Organising a bonfire night party can be difficult, as the vast majority of venues will not allow fireworks or large bonfires on the premises as they pose a safety risk. While setting up your very own fireworks display and bonfire may be tempting, both are dangerous if you don’t have previous experience. With so many displays open to the public, choosing to visit a local bonfire night celebration with a fireworks display before heading to your chosen venue is a viable choice. In order to engage with the traditions of this event, having a cake with miniature sparklers incorporated can give your guests a taste of the fireworks without creating too much of a safety hazard.
With the sheer number of fireworks set off during this evening you will probably be able to see them by looking out of the window, no matter where you are.
Selecting a Function Room
Bonfire night parties are often informal gatherings with friends and family rather than more formal events, so the décor and function room should reflect this. Decorating with an autumn theme and specifying that guests should dress casually can create a far more relaxed atmosphere. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a function room:
- Outdoor access – Many parties which centre around bonfire night are held outdoors so that guests can view the fireworks and bonfire. Selecting a function room with easy access to the outdoors will help you transition smoothly from a chat outside to moving into the warm to pick up a drink.
- How many guests? – Before selecting a function room, think about how many people you will be able to bring into the room while not being too crowded or leaving lots of empty space. Most venues will be able to let you know the number of guests each function room can comfortably cater for as soon as you ask.
- View – One of the greatest attractions of bonfire night is the firework displays that you can watch from gardens and windows across the country. With a function room that has a good view of the sky you and your guests will be able to watch the fireworks let off throughout the evening.
Plan the Menu
When planning a bonfire night party, it is important to consider your menu as well as how many guests you will be serving. If you are organising a party that starts late and will have a lot of activities going on, serving your guests nibbles such as sausage rolls, olives and crisps can give your guests something light to snack on without cluttering up the party. If your party starts earlier, serving a full meal can be a good option to start off the night.
Bonfire night is associated with delicious autumn foods, with warm crudités, pulled pork in a bun or hot dogs with a variety of fillings being the most popular. A wonderful meal plan that can be eaten on the go while having a chat with other guests is a great way to keep all of your guests engaged. Desserts such as cupcakes and toffee apples can also be eaten on the go while moving from the outdoors to indoors, and are very suitable for a more informal gathering.
Setting up some games to play during the party can help everyone to enjoy the event and relax. Party games are a fantastic way to get everyone involved and introduce everyone to each other. The start of a party can be awkward before the event comes together, especially if you are not particularly close with anyone there. Team games can help guests with few acquaintances to start chatting and even make new friends.
- Musical Chairs – Musical chairs is a timeless classic. While it is generally associated with children’s parties it can be great fun for adults too. A good way to get everyone up and moving around, this game involves a circle of chairs and music playing; once the music stops then the players must run to a chair. The participants who are left without a seat are out of the running to win.
- Two Truths One Lie – This game is perhaps better suited for smaller gatherings where all the guests are familiar enough with each other that they could conceivably know when others are lying. However, it can be used as an icebreaker in a larger party. The game involves someone giving three statements, and you must guess which of the statements is a lie and which are truthful in order to win.
- Charades – This classic game is a favourite for all kinds of occasions. After selecting a card, the person who selected the card must then mime the word on the card to their audience while the rest of the group guess what they are miming. These cards can vary from an ostrich to the Spider Man movie.
- Musical Statues – What better way is there to get everyone out on the dance floor? Musical Statues is a great game for all ages to participate in, particularly if there are children in attendance. While the music is playing everyone must dance and as soon as it stops the players must freeze. The last to stop moving is knocked out of the game until only the winner is left. The game doesn’t require any real preparation either, just a dance floor and some funky tunes.
If you are considering Salomons Estate as a venue for an event, then please contact us here. Our staff would be delighted to discuss the function rooms and other facilities available to you at our wonderful estate.