Close your eyes and imagine a typical football party. What comes to mind besides the game? Stale tortilla chips and lukewarm Coors? Those sad clichés are now a thing of the past, because this weekend you’re going to throw your own pigskin soirée. You’re going to serve delicious (and healthy) bites, yummy drinks and all the right fixings to make your guests feel comfy and relaxed—two critical qualities when it’s tied in the fourth and your team is attempting its fourth down.
No one knows football bashes like Billie Edington. As Soho House’s Digital Marketing Manager for North America, she attends a lot of parties—and she’s also a die-hard New England Patriots fan. In between handling events at the world’s coolest members-only club and cheering on Gronk and Brady, Edington took a break to tell us what she requires for a game-day fiesta—no pizza rolls or beer cans allowed.
“Food is the most important part of any party. I like to serve buffalo chicken meatballs with a bleu cheese dip and carrots and celery stalks. Everyone likes pigs in a blanket, but you can turn them up a notch with chorizo corn dogs. Elote is a Mexican dip that blends queso with corn salsa. It’s colorful and pairs easily with tortilla chips. I also stock my freezer with appetizers from Trader Joe’s. They’re delicious and easy to thaw and bake ahead of time so you don’t spend all night in the kitchen."
“Beer and cocktails are a must, but bottles and cans look messy strewn around the room so give your guests clever koozies. I also keep the mixed drinks easy by preparing big batches of two cocktails—one for each team. Let’s say the Patriots are playing the New York Giants. I’d prepare a whiskey sour, for the Boston Irish, and a Manhattan for the New Yorkers. Serve them in big glass pump dispensers. Also, prep a few fun drinking games to keep guests entertained during halftime.”
“Watching football can be a cozy experience, especially now that the temperature is dropping, and you can always expect friends to bring plus-ones, making the room feel comfortably crowded. Offer lots of comfy seating options at different heights, plus blankets to stay warm. I love bean bags and poufs; they’re easy to scatter around and always look cute.”
“Prep your gadgets before anyone arrives. The last thing you need is a technical glitch with a full audience of impatient guests. Also, record the game while it’s playing, in case anyone needs a replay. Keep a playlist ready so you can mute the TV and turn up the jams during commercial breaks—music is a nice invitation for people to talk to each other (rather than during the game), and it reinforces the party atmosphere. Perhaps most importantly, make sure you have a big TV screen. If the TV isn’t good, that defeats the purpose of hosting a watch party!”
“Invite your guests to wear their favorite team’s colors, even if they’re not fans of the teams playing. That discourages people from coming in sweatpants or cocktail dresses while still giving them an opportunity to dress for an occasion.”