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how to host friendsgiving the liberty way

Feast for Friends: Celebrate Friendsgiving in Style

All the fun of Christmas, with less of the family drama... here’s how to host a spectacular Friendsgiving this November
By: Charlotte Olby

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Feast for Friends: Celebrate Friendsgiving in Style

Feast for Friends: Celebrate Friendsgiving in Style

All the fun of Christmas, with less of the family drama... here’s how to host a spectacular Friendsgiving this November

By: Charlotte Olby

Friendsgiving, aka the cooler, younger sibling of the American holiday Thanksgiving, is just around the corner. And whilst this feast for friends is much more widely celebrated across the pond, here at Liberty we’re making the case for adopting such a fete. With all the fixings of a traditional Thanksgiving gathering (pumpkin spice everything, giving thanks and of course: turkey), if the hosting baton has been passed onto you this year do not fret - here’s Liberty’s guide to hosting a hiccup-free Friendsgiving.

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The Pre-Planning

First, you’re going to want to decide on a date and a guestlist. While Thanksgiving falls on the 23 November this year, Friendsgiving is usually considered a pre-game to The Big Day, and typically held the weekend prior. As this is a more relaxed affair than a gathering with your relatives, you have the freedom as the host to set the tone for the entire proceedings. Set a theme for the day and run with it but don’t forget the two golden rules: having friends at the table is, of course, a must and food is integral to the day. Grab your diary and get to work planning a celebration to remember with your chosen family.

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The Menu

A Friendsgiving spread often resembles your traditional Thanksgiving menu, with a few creative additions. While turkey is your staple, historically this is a feast to celebrate the harvest so ensure there are plenty of hearty veggies, sweet potato, baked breads and of course: pumpkin pie. If the thought of providing the entire meal is too daunting - throw a potluck. Take care of the turkey and ask your friends to bring side dishes or desserts. A potluck allows all your guests to share family recipes with friends and make new traditions together - plus it makes for a colourful, no airs and graces affair.

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The Table

Setting the table shows your guests you care they came. And, it's your time to truly shine as the host. This is the perfect excuse to lean into autumnal decor with wild abandon and bring the outdoors in with plenty of just-harvested pumpkin side dishes. You want your table to sing as much as the food does, so ensure your centrepieces are a standout by placing bud vases filled with fall foliage between platters of potatoes. Why not embark on a #LibertyCraftClub tablecloth project to add a few well-placed gourds and vegetables as a nod to the rich flavour of the season.

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The Refreshments

While we’re all for asking your friends to chip in with a few side dishes or a Bake-Off style dessert table, as the host, drinks should be provided for all. This is a celebration, after all. Now this doesn’t need to be in the form of a fully stocked at-home bar (although that is rather nice) a bar cart with a few well-chosen drinks will go down just as well. Ensure there are plenty of bubbles for toasting, and a jug filled with a signature cocktail for all to enjoy. A warming Sloe Gin cocktail makes for a sweet-sharp tipple that your friends will thank you for post-feast. Here’s how to muddle together one Sloe Gin Fizz, simply multiply the ingredients by the number of guests.

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50ml sloe gin
25ml lemon juice
2 tsp sugar syrup
sparkling water
lemon slice and fresh blackberries

How To:

Pour your sloe gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker and fill up with ice cubes.
Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold, then strain into a glass or jug filled with more ice.
Top up with sparkling water and stir gently.
Garnish with a lemon slice and a blackberry.

The Decor

Of course, pumpkins are the go-to choice for styling your home ahead of Friendsgiving, but this is also the perfect opportunity to warm up your home for winter. Now temperatures have dropped and we’re ready for cosy nights in, inject some seasonal hues with rich oranges and finish with the glow of Liberty's Stately Bouquet Scented Candle, £52 and strings of fairy lights to set the party scene. Turn your home into a sanctuary from the outside for you and your friends, for a space they’ll never want to leave. Don’t forget to give your guest bedroom the same treatment for any expected or unexpected overnight guests.

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The Entertainment

Up your party game with a few select activities that can be counted upon if the turkey is taking a little longer than planned. Opt for multi-player games that many of your guests can get involved in and encourage a little healthy competition. This is particularly great if you’ve invited guests that don’t know each other to help break the ice - although you needn’t worry, focus on good food and good conversation and the rest will flow effortlessly. As the host, don’t forget to join in and enjoy yourself too - the washing up can wait.

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The Outfit

To keep the focus on what’s really important this Friendsgiving (the food, drink and friends) we’ve got your wardrobe situation all planned out. Luckily, as you’re hosting at home this isn’t a difficult equation that requires lots of layers - unless you’re planning a pre-dinner walk - and we have plenty of feast-friendly dresses that need little to no thought, throw-on-and-go if you will. As mid-meal naps aren’t off the table here, keep a FARM Rio Burgundy Bubble Knit Cardigan on standby for getting cosy and you’re good-to-go. Happy hosting!

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The Thank Yous

Carve out the time - not only to thank your guests for coming - but for getting into the true holiday spirit with a time for thanks. Bringing friends together to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments over the past year and toasting to the new one ahead is one of the best moments of Friendsgiving. Of course, you’re going to want flutes for raising a glass and, here us out: a bowl. Instead of formally going around the table guest-by-guest, have everyone write their moments of gratitude or wishes down and place them in a bowl. Once everyone is done, pass the bowl around and guess who is thankful for what. Whether it’s something genuine or silly, you and your friends will enjoy this guessing game of thanks.

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