18.30 Prep time: Before the congregation arrive, make some early-evening preparations. Forget canapés, what people really love is a slice of pizza before the festivities begin. Make it yourself – but keep things simple – we suggest prosciutto e funghi on a thin crust base (see recipe online). Alternatively, order in a 12-inch or something spicy from below:
Five Saturday night delivery companies:
01. Basilico, London
02. Flavours of Lakhoum, Melbourne
03. Fatty Crab, New York
04. Lilly’s Thai (it also delivers DVDs), Zürich
05. Homeworks, Tokyo
19.00 Cocktails: We were once served an unforgettable cocktail at a house party in New York – the Pepper Basil Caipirinha (see recipe online) – it’s as stimulating as it sounds. Best served with La Perruche sugar and Fiddes Payne pepper. 19.30 Apéritifs: For the less adventurous guests you can’t go wrong with a fridge full of Peroni or Asahi and some super-chilled Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé. Glasses can be covered with a one-stop Iittala shop – get your Senta, Aarne and Essence flutes, tumblers and wine goblets and Koskinen tea lights online, skandium.com.
20.00 Soundware: Whether you’re hooking up your iPod or screening DVDs, a good set of speakers are paramount. British sound specialists Ferguson Hill has launched a range of speakers designed by aeronautical engineer Tim Hill – fergusonhill.co.uk.
21.00 Sushi: Preparing sushi en masse may not sound like a riveting way to spend a Saturday night, but once everyone gets the hang of the makisu bamboo rolling mat and paddle – the best are found in Tokyo’s Kappabashi kitchen district – you’ll find it hard to tear them away from their California rolls (see recipe online).
22.00 Sake break: Finish up with a few glasses of cold sake. For young and fashionable bag a bottle of Isake, but if you’re after something more established try Kubota Manju.
22.30 Media menu: The Artificial Eye back catalogue is an art crowd pleaser, while the japers will prefer Blake Edwards’s classic, The Party. Musically, pop on The Bird of Music by Au Revoir Simone, Cult Cargo: Belize City Boil Up and Hello Love by The Broken Family Band.
Five more albums to get the party started:
01. Beach Samba – Astrud Gilberto
02. Vertigo Mixed – Andy Votel
03. David Holmes presents the Free Association
04. Let Me Introduce My Friends – I’m from Barcelona
05. Sticky Fingers – Rolling Stones
00.00 Games: In the absence of karaoke, nothing rounds off an evening like a dimly-lit game of Boggle and a bowl of Fluff marshmallow-coated popcorn (see recipe online), especially after one too many Manjus.
01.00 Wee hours: There is only one thing that will keep you from your Hästens once everyone has left – the 24 Series Six box set, some Catalonian Gordal olives and a glass of de Ladoucette Pouilly-Fumé white or Prunotto Occhetti Nebbiolo d’Alba red.