The brief transition month between Winter and Spring is a time I hear many people struggling with, but February holds some of my favourite celebrations of the whole year (Pancake day, Valentines, Candlemas), and also the first signs of Spring (take a look- I promise!) It also holds the birth of my second baby although as I write this he’s still firmly nestled inside, so this month has special significance to our family this year. One of my favourite celebrations of the month is Galentines Day, the 13th February; the day to celebrate your female friendships. That's ONE WEEK TODAY! So you totally have time to plan something if you haven't already, whether thats for one or for 20, whether you want to cook a big feast or meet for cocktails after work.
I have felt so held and loved by my local friends through this pregnancy, partly because one is my hypnobirthing teacher and another is my doula, but also because they’ve cooked for us and looked after Frankie-Rose and been on the end of a Facebook chat at all hours to reassure and have ridiculous gif conversations with. So I wanted to thank them in a way that meant we got to hang out but wasn't going to mean a huge amount of effort for my heavily pregnant self. Last year I hosted a brunch, but I don't want to cook much at the moment so I decided to host a cocktail and chocolates night instead.
The prep and clear up was minimal so I recommend this if you also fancy celebrating with your girlfriends in a low hassle way.
Here’s what I did, should you wish to host something similar.
How to host a simple Cocktail and Chocolates night for Galentines Day:
• The last weeks of pregnancy called for some healthy delicious snacks so I doubled all the recipes, stored half in my freezer and served the other half to my guests too. I made these peanut granola bars in bite size pieces (my favourite of the bunch, and also the simplest), these brownie bites, these carrot cake cookies, and some macaroons which I wouldn't recommend so I’m omitting the recipe!
• I created a simple Prosecco cocktail recipe (see below) and my lovely man made them up on the night for my friends. Serving them in these super tall LSA champagne glasses from Houseology elevated things somewhat; I am in love with the tall elegant stems.
• I wanted the evening to feel shimmery and feminine, so I put up my wire fairy lights, put a few tall candles on the table and used my Himalayan salt tea light holder too (I love the pink glow!)
• Pink, pink, pink was the order of the day, so I decorated the table with small vases of beautiful pink roses and the first of the Kent tulips. I also scattered some petals around the table because: whimsy.
• I served the chocolates on varying serving platters; my Sarah Jerath bowls, plus this enamelled platter, also from Houseology, which is sort of mirrored on the bottom and reflects the candle light magically on the table.
Then, with glasses charged, we piled plates high with treats and sat around the fire in the lounge talking birth and fridges and politics and laughing until I thought I might pee, and until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer and had to shoo my sistren out of the door. Kidding. Kinda.
If you’re thinking of upgrading any of your serve-wear for the months upcoming festivities (ahem, PANCAKE DAY), check out Houseology. The hostess in me was chomping at the bit to buy everything from the cooking and serve wear ranges!
Galentines Prosecco cocktail recipe:
- Put 1 teaspoon of berry syrup in the bottom of the glass.
- Add 2 tablespoons of sloe gin (more if you want a stronger taste)
- Then top with Prosecco and a sprig of thyme. (a subtle savoury smell and taste to balance the sweetness. Delicious. You could muddle it a little in the glass to give a stronger flavour)
Berry syrup recipe:
- 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup Demerara sugar
To make the berry syrup, simply boil equal parts berries (I used frozen) water and sugar for 10 mins, then strain into a sterilised bottle. Gently squish the berries to extract all the juice.
Are you planning to celebrate Galentines this year?
Thank you to Houseology, whom this post is in collaboration with.