(AND YOU’RE HOSTING I T ! )
Peak summer months are meant for one thing,
and one thing only—cocktail-fuelled, bikini-clad
by MEHER BAJWA
With temperatures soaring to an all-time high every summer (the Capital’s hitting 45 degrees!), it’s always a good idea to prepare yourself with the best defence strategy there is—a couple of Old Fashioned(s), Bob Marley on the jam box, and a cool pool to dive into every few minutes. Social calendars are packed with weekend (and some weekday) saltwater invites starting June, but we’ve figured it’s just always better to throw your own bash—personal swimming pool included. From Hawaiian luaus to vintage sundowners, we’ve gathered intel on the things that will have your guests anxious for their next invite.
THE BASICS: FIND A POOL
If you don’t have a pool in the backyard, fear not! These hotels have your lagoon party needs covered. But we’d still recommend following our DIY party recommendations, because they are guaranteed fail-proof.
You can host a memorable pool party at the following hotels:
1. The Gateway Resort, Damdama
2. Taj West End, Bengaluru
3. Taj Coromandel, Chennai
4. Lalit Resort & Spa, Bekal, Kerala
5. JW Marriott, Juhu, Mumbai
6. Hyatt Regency, Mumbai
7. The Claridges, New Delhi
However, if you do happen to have a pool or a farmhouse with a pool, or a friend of a friend of a friend who owns one and is at your disposal, read on and take copious notes for your very own shindig.
PICK A THEME (OR DON’T)
Here’s where you get creative and make your pool party unique to the others in the mix. You could either link your party to a specific beach like a Miami South Beach party with electro music and decor reminiscent of the Ultra Music Festival or a Rio de Janeiro theme party with Brazilian music and food, or a Jamaican-style party with pina coladas, fresh grilled pineapple and marimba music. You could also venture into the territory of decade themes like a retro Mad Men theme or a Chinese festival theme with Chinese lanterns and paper dragons. If you don’t feel the need to stick to a theme, don’t. A pool party is kind of a theme in itself.
DECORATE: BUT NOT FOR HALLOWEEN
Unless you’re going all out with your theme, you don’t need in-your-face decor. It’s essential to have the pool area neat and clean, instead of cluttered with streamers and other such items. Instead of having one food buffet table, get four-five mini food stations spread across the party zone—this ensures people walk around and mingle, and don’t just mill around the one food area. A great idea is to have mood lighting using small candles or lanterns around the area as your party goes on into the evening. Order a few vases of flowers if you want to add that extra touch of sophistication. Remember to set up and test your sound system well in advance—no one wants to hang around at a dud party with no music.
INVITES: SPREADING THE WORD
Paper invites are too formal for a summer party and just sending a text comes across as too lazy (trust us, we’ve read the studies). The ideal way to go is to send out e-mail invitations and then make follow-up phone calls for RSVPs. The invite should be fun and indicative of the mood and theme of your party. Catchy lines like “swimsuits only” or “poolside cocktails” are a great way to get people interested and informed about the nature of your party. Do specify a dress code if you want one. You could always ask your friends to spread the word and send out the invite to their respective groups, depending on how many people you want attending your party.
MAKE A LIST: DON’T FORGET THE DETAILS
Start checking off the boxes to ensure you’ve got it all together before you flag off the party of the summer!
1. Stack freshly laundered towels on a table next to the pool to give your party a luxury spa feeling.
2. Use a couple of bright towels to add colour to your party area.
3. Have a range of sunscreens of different strengths placed near the towels.
4. Sun umbrellas and lounge chairs are essential for pool-side lounging.
5. Set up one of your bathrooms to serve as a changing area and after-swim shower area.
6. Fill the bathroom with luxuriously scented liquid soaps and shampoos.
7. Create a collection of moisturisers, aloe vera and other essentials and leave it in
8. As a little gift for your guests, leave straw hats or bright sarongs on each lounge chair. 9. Gather swim essentials like swimming caps and goggles and place them on the table with the towels.
10. And the reason why you’re doing all this in the first place... don’t forget to have a heck of a good time!
KEEP THE FOOD AND DRINKS LIGHT!
A bartender is essential to the success of any party. You don’t need a full bar, just a few cocktails and the regulars like beer and wine, of course. Make sure yours can whip up the following summer-appropriate drinks:
3. Berry Julep; 4. Earl-Y-Gin; 7. Pina Colada (as served at Smoke House Deli, New Delhi—for full recipes visit maximindia.in).
Set up a table of food so everyone has access to it and you won’t need to hire guys in bowties to serve stuff (unless you want to). Keep the munchies light because you don’t want your guests feeling too stuffed to actually take a dip in the pool. We like the following—you could either place an order for them or try making some on your own!
1. Balinese Chicken Satay at The Backyard; 2. Tenderloin Minute Steak at The Hungry Monkey; 5. Death Wings at Def. Col. Social; 6. Glazed Chicken Spiedini at Fio Cookhouse; 8. Tandoori Quail at Gastronomica.