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Theme Parties 12.30.08

Host a London Staycation Party!

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London Staycation Party

Can’t get away on a fancy trip this holiday? Why not bring the destination to you?! This is the concept behind the “Staycation!” feature in People magazine’s special Holiday 2008 Extra issue, which included  3 “dream destination” vacation spots – Aspen, London, and The Caribbean – and I was super excited to be asked to create the London theme!

I think the issue only went out in the mail, but you can click here to view a jpeg of the full spread at a legible size – or check it out online at (although most of the images are only in the print version).

London Staycation Party

I also designed some printable invitations to go with this party theme, which are pictured in the top image. You can download them below for free (pdf format). There are 2 versions – the first is exactly like the version pictured in the article and says “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” at the top – and the second says “YOU’RE INVITED” instead of “Happy Holidays” so that it can be used anytime of year…

Get the links to download both invites – and additional British-themed tabletop & party decor ideas – after the jump!



Greet guests with UK flags placed outside your front door.

Wish You Were Here: Hang a few posters of popular historical landmarks like the London Tower, House of Parliament, and Big Ben clock tower, and take close-up shots of guests “visiting” their favorite hot spot. Upload the photos to an online gallery so everyone can see them, or – for instant gratification – use a Polaroid camera and let guests take their photos with them. Be sure to include a sharpie to scribble “wish you were here!” along the bottom of the Polaroid.

Hang a Union Jack umbrella in the entryway for guests to walk under when then arrive.

Create an “English Flag” table cover: Start with a white tablecloth, then add strips of red fabric, ribbon, or gift wrapping paper in to emulate the look of the flag of England.

Feature replicas of British Double Decker Buses and London Taxis as table centerpieces, along with small framed  pictures of London hotspots.

For table settings, feature gold leaf beaded edge charger plates and red and white dinnerware and linens.

Adorn drinkware with crown-shaped rhinestone stickers fit for a queen.

Create British-themed napkin rings from 1” strips of red scrapbook paper and UK Union Jack mini buttons.

Decorate food & drink tables with framed pics from a London calendar. Splurge on a fabulous wire model of Big Ben if you really want to go all out!

Hire someone to dress up like a Royal Guard for more fabulous photo opps!



Version 1: “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” {Preview Online}  {Download Now}

Version 2: “YOU’RE INVITED”  {Preview Online}  {Download Now}

*Invitations are sized to fit in a #10 envelope and would look fantastic in Paper Source’s #10 Button & String Envelopes (color: Red or Night) – or in Stardream’s shimmery metallic #10 envelopes (color: Mars, Sapphire, or Silver).

Inviting LOTS of guests? Check for fabulous prices on all sorts of specialty envelopes – including #10 Stardream metallics!


Enjoy! Please let us know if you end up hosting a Staycation party of your own – or if you have any ideas to contribute!

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

15 responses to “Host a London Staycation Party!”

  1. Jenn, this is AMAZING! Congrats! What a great party.

  2. Kim O. says:

    Love it, Jenn! How awesome that you were in People!!!

  3. amy @ stem says:

    Bloody awesome.

    It was that or Austin Powers.

    This is great, Jenn. All of it….love.

  4. Emily F says:

    Wow, I am LOVING this. It might be my favorite party theme that you’ve put up here. Ever. So great!

  5. Dawn says:

    Yeah, baby, yeah! Love the idea! Must get my hands on the mag, to add it to my file book. Congrats on another amazing spread!

  6. Ashley Rose says:

    Amazing! I love all things english :)

  7. tammy says:

    Fun idea! Now you’ve got me thinking of other fun “destination” parties! :)

  8. BathrobeBride says:

    Great ideas! This would also be a great theme for a bridal shower, based on where the couple is honeymooning or if they got engaged while on vacation.

  9. Sandra @ Ribbons and Favors says:

    What fun to stray from the norm for a destination themed gathering. Mmmmm roast beef and yorkshire pudding is right up there with fish and chips on the menu.

  10. Lesley says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for the fabulous London-themed party idea. I had a few ideas together for a tea party for my daughter’s first birthday, but I couldn’t have done it without you!

    You can see pictures here…

    Thanks so much!


    Lesley Colvin

  11. Very English, I love it all :)

  12. Lauren Morales says:

    I am actually throwing a going away party for my friend who is moving to London and I am loving your ideas! I really want to use the invite but can’t find a way to edit it :(

  13. andrealast says:

    great ideas, I live in London n having a jubilee party next month :) got few ideas already like bunting, flags on cocktail sticks small bottles of WKD in red white and clear with union jack labels ( havnt figured out how to do labels yet tho )
    red white n blue jelly sweets in bags with ribbon. would love any input tho x