Cracking hosting tips for bonfire night + warming spiced autumn punch recipe

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Remember, remember the 5th of November. As Guy Fawkes night approaches, almost a third of Brits are preparing to celebrate with fireworks, bonfires, food and in some cases a cheeky glass of wine. Whether you are hosting friends or family, or attending a professional display, here’s what you’ll need to help your Bonfire Night party go with a bang:First up is food. Well, you would all be chilly without a hot meal inside you! Crank up the BBQ and serve sizzling sausages. Not only are they easy to eat while watching a firework display, hot dogs double up as a great hand warmer! Add sauces and dish out the napkins. You can follow this simple main course with a sweet treat; make use of the bonfire (or the fire pit if at home) and toast some marshmallows.And don’t forget the drinks. With the average UK temperature barely reaching 10°C2, it’s best to serve a wine with spicy undertones. This will provide your guests with a warming sensation as the rockets take off. Serve glasses of red wine (which will only taste better when warmed bedside the fire) or make a delicious spiced punch. Mulled wine isn’t just for Christmas, you know! It will be sure to keep your guests cosy while the fireworks fizz and crackle in the chilly November air.

I got this recipe from i heart Wines. The Spiced Autumn Punch combines a smooth Merlot, with aromas of black fruit, notes of plum and raspberry and a hint of spice, with the warming autumnal flavours of cinnamon, orange and apple.


750ml i heart Merlot, 250ml apple juice, 250ml orange juice, 125ml brandy, 60ml orange liqueur, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 oranges, 2 apples, 6-star anise, simple syrup (made with 60g granulated sugar and 60ml water)

  • First, make the simple syrup for the punch by mixing together 60g granulated sugar and 60ml of water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear, then remove from the heat and let it cool.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the apple juice, orange juice, brandy and orange liqueur. Add the simple syrup and bring to a boil over moderate heat, while stirring.
  • Add the i heart Merlot along with the cinnamon sticks, star anise and slices of orange and apple and allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes before serving.
  • Carefully pour into heatproof glasses. Garnish with fresh orange slices, a cinnamon stick and star anise. Serve the punch warm.

Once you’ve finished the fireworks fun, move the festivities inside and heat things up with some games. Download ‘Heads Up’, a fun and hilarious gaming app from comedy genius, Ellen DeGeneres. From naming celebrities to silly accents – the rules are simple: guess the word that’s on your head from your friends’ clues before the timer runs out! The most enjoyable part being to watch the videos back of all your friends shouting suggestions.In terms of music, take inspiration from your Guy Fawkes themed party, and devise a playlist that will have something for everyone. Go super-cheesy with Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Bang Bang’ by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, and of course, ‘Firework’ by Katy Perry.

So, grab your mittens, coat and a glass of warming wine to enjoy while watching the fireworks this Autumn. Let me know if you have other tips for hosting a great fireworks party by leaving your suggestions below. Happy bonfire night everyone!


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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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