The list reads like a situation of not likely challenges: guide villas for Mick Jagger, type out discreet suppers for George Clooney, put collectively a rub down for Johnny Depp and organise a fortieth birthday party where Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Madonna can all shimmy on a white rose-strewn dance floor while Kanye West DJs.
Yet Serena Cook has achieved all of them — and more.
For the past 18 years the British fixer to the stars has been concierge and party planner extraordinaire on the ‘White Isle’ of Ibiza.
Or no longer it’s a job that has her chartering boats for 150 folks at a second’s look, booking tables at unbookable eating places and usually managing the sky-excessive expectations of these with sky-excessive obtain value.
‘I am continuously having to up my game,’ says Serena, forty six. ‘But throwing a factual party is in my genes. My mom and my grandmother were each and every hostesses with basically the most, with extremely excessive requirements. They taught me that though-provoking is all about considerate microscopic shrimp print.’
Serena Cook, forty six, has thrown parties for one of the most crucial world’s most notorious a-list party followers
And A-list clientele absolutely search knowledge from hundreds these. One bride decided 24 hours earlier than the huge day that she wished are residing monarch butterflies released at the tip of the ceremony — despite the truth that you just can no longer fetch them in Ibiza. (‘We sourced eighty from Portugal they most continuously were transported by DHL — they emerged from their chrysalises upon offer.’)
One other wished a birthday cake that used to be an accurate duplicate of a Hermès Birkin discover. (‘It used to be flown in on a deepest jet from London.’)
There are some limits, though. Basically the most weird search knowledge from used to be for dancing bears and lion cubs for a Cirque Du Freak party (‘I mentioned no!’).
In step with Serena, who situation up her events and expert concierge industrial Deliciously Sorted in 2002, the secret is the flexibility to tailor all the pieces to a client’s explicit desires. She is now sharing the secrets and ideas of expertise to support us all sprinkle stardust on summer season bashes.
While that you just too can no longer possess £1 million to use to your party – the value of basically the most costly occasion held by Serena – that you just can tranquil put a luxurious ambiance the usage of these pointers
While infrequently a self-discipline for support garden parties, in her job discretion is a excessive priority.
Three years ago, Serena arranged the celeb marriage ceremony of the 300 and sixty five days for actors Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender at a participants-fully boutique farmhouse resort. The fully detail Serena will portion is that she employed 18 safety guards to support out the paparazzi.
Serena has jaw-losing villas, rock-big title venues, chefs, drivers, masseurs, beauticians, hosts, butlers, waitresses and DJs at her disposal – apart from a ‘honest appropriate team’ of 20 consultants.
But though her most costly occasion payment £1 million, she insists that a factual party is more about letting your ‘imagination sparkle’ than spending big bucks. Inventiveness is more necessary mid-pandemic — as soon as we’re more liable to be net hosting al fresco and sticking shut to house.
Here, she shares her secrets and ideas for bringing A-list glamour to any party . . .
FOOD TO THRILL GUESTS
Serena urges party hosts to preserve out of the kitchen throughout the party by preparing straightforward meals beforehand
Goal to provide straightforward, shapely meals which is in a effect to be prepared earlier than your company come.
‘They’re right here to search you,’ says Serena,
‘so develop no longer use the overall time cooped up in the kitchen.’ She provides: ‘Sea bass is a accepted in Ibiza.
When you occur to might presumably well also presumably be cooking your self, ceviche [raw fish cured in citrus juices] is amazing as it’s going to possess to even be prepared prematurely. For a white theme, mediate desserts with white icing or creamy panna cotta for dessert.’
Mediterranean-style tapas is a factual option: prawns with garlic, Spanish meatballs, padrón peppers, tortillas, patatas bravas, olives, almonds and salad. Serena says: ‘Here’s comparatively inexpensive.’
For dessert, she says the Spanish fancy cheesecake with fruit coulis.
CLEVER DECOR TO MAKE YOUR GET-TOGETHER THE GO-TO EVENT
Intellectual decoration is the principle to giving the impact that you just’ve got got long gone the extra mile.
‘Or no longer it’s all phase of making company genuinely feel special,’ says Serena. ‘You develop no longer wish to interrupt the monetary institution. Even the smallest touches might presumably make a gigantic invent.’
For a calming vibe, she suggests dotting white candles one day of the garden in lanterns or tea lights.
Serena suggests candles aplenty to present a luxurious genuinely feel, with scented candles placed in the cloakroom
‘Merely sources are Ikea, Amazon, the native pound store or the garden centre,’ says Serena. ‘Withhold scented candles for a luxurious contact in the cloakroom.’
Strings of low-payment festoon bulbs also glance slightly.
Plants are a feature of her most excessive-profile events: ‘If budget permits, breeze for calla lilies in shapely, big vases for a white theme,’ she says. ‘If no longer, bunches of white balloons will give the identical stop, both at the doorway or at every smash of the dining table, in corners, off chairs.’
For a budget injection of colour, Serena suggests decorating your table with bowls of fruit. Lemons in particular are evocative of Ibiza.
Vases of unusual rosemary and thyme also work successfully, emitting a edifying scent on a summer season evening.
‘Colored candles in varied heights and sizes, or hibiscus plants in terracotta pots work successfully for a more vivid situation-up. If on a smaller budget, dangle brightly colored streamers from chairs or bushes.’
Take into accout the total senses as soon as you adorn. Serena suggests an inexpensive wind chime (you would perhaps presumably discover factual ones at the garden centre) with its very honest appropriate dreamy sound for a bohemian genuinely feel.
And develop no longer difficulty with pricey extra seating or ruining your factual chairs.
‘Judge cushions and seagrass rugs which which that you just can scatter round your garden, even any fundamental furnishings that you just too can need inside your house.
‘Employ straw and sisal [available cheaply in bulk online] to adorn placements or tie on the support of chairs. When you occur to develop no longer possess a formal table, low espresso tables work with scattered cushions on the grass. Cascading plants or succulents (these closing for ever, so which which that you just can reduction them after the party) also add a fine contact.’
In case your garden is big enough strive and put different zones: reception/drinks situation, dining table or buffet/snacks situation and dancing situation.
‘My top tip is field the bar subsequent to the dance floor as folks congregate at the bar, which makes the location subsequent to it seem exciting and total.’
It’s likely you’ll presumably presumably also additionally prefer a ‘sit snug’ jam for the tip of the evening — scatter huge cushions on the grass with rugs and cosy blankets.
BIG DREAMS AND GREAT THEMES
Serena claims that having a celebration theme will make your party more straightforward to field
It’s likely you’ll presumably presumably imagine having a theme to your party fully makes existence more hard, but Serena says the choice is true.
‘A theme becomes a focal present which all ingredients of the occasion hyperlink — which makes your planning powerful more straightforward,’ she provides.
‘The necessary hiss I stop is write down the theme, and that sparks ideas for meals, song, drinks, decoration and entertainment.’
Get the extravagant Cirque Du Freak party she created in 2015: ‘We projected photography from Twenties circuses one day of the occasion and the team all wore circus uniforms.’ For a Spanish theme for dressmaker Riccardo Tisci, even the bar team, tray holders and busboys were a necessary ornamental ingredient.
‘We were very strict about the formula they regarded: male fully, neat-shaven, aesthetic,’ she says. Serena and her team forged every body, noting shirt sizes, height and weight.
‘A white party is extremely now in Ibiza,’ says Serena. ‘It genuinely works successfully for a enlighten birthday or the night earlier than a marriage ceremony.’
Invitations are necessary to a theme, she says: ‘Paperless post [paperlesspost.com] is an limitless tool as that you just can put the invites for free and send them by electronic mail.
‘But as soon as you would perhaps presumably like to send them thru the post, my favourite is Wren Press [wrenpress.co.uk].’
Serena suggests you demand company to robe the phase. ‘Remark them the fully dressed will more than seemingly be awarded with champagne,’ she says.
DRINKS TO ADD A LITTLE SPARKLE
Serena tells party hosts to situation up a bar so as that company might presumably make their dangle drinks
Cocktails or champagne are a factual formula to kick off your party.
‘I’m no longer a gigantic bubbles drinker so I continuously reduction cocktails on arrival,’ says Serena. ‘That mentioned, champagne like Pol Roger — or, as soon as that you just too can presumably be on a budget, cava and prosecco — does fetch a celebration started. Of the cavas, I like Freixenet [around £10].’
When you occur to might presumably well also presumably be feeling prosecco has lost its sparkle, Serena recommends sangria made with cava, or the minty cocktails caipiroskas and caipirinhas: ‘A good deal of unusual mint affords a edifying unusual taste.’
Employ any rectangular table to place a bar, and stock up on glasses, bottles, corkscrews, shakers and herbs for garnish — then company can mix their dangle drinks afterward.
As for the very finest spirit of the summer season? For sure mezcal.
Serena says: ‘Mezcal is a purer elevate of tequila that is smokier in taste. Or no longer it is finest served as a Mezcal Mule, with ginger ale and lime.’
Her favourite is a paloma (tequila, grapefruit juice, soda and lime juice).
For non-drinkers, strive elderflower cordial with mint.