How to host the perfect house party… according to Brits

As we dive into the heart of the festive season, the air is filled with anticipation for Christmas and New Year’s, marking the onset of a flurry of celebrations and gatherings.

For the hospitality sector, there is a significant uptick in bookings from groups and businesses for parties. However, Christmas and New Year’s are synonymous with hosting or attending house parties.

With the height of the COVID-19 pandemic a distant memory for most, there’s been a noticeable shift, with nearly a quarter of Brits confessing to attending more house parties in 2023 compared to the previous year but according to Google data, it is during December and early January when searches for house party-related terms soar.

But what is required to host the perfect party?

That’s the question we have attempted to answer to celebrate the launch of our first retro drinkers cooler with our new Nancy range (more about that at the bottom of this article).

We recently conducted a national survey of people between the ages of 16 and 55+, with the help of Censuswide, to find the answer and discover what people most want to see at a house party:

An unsurprising disclaimer: the answer is not straightforward.

Brits house party preferences by city

With our survey, we have been able to discover what the most desired house party requirements were per city. As part of this, we looked into what the most popular party persona of that city was but also delved into what the most popular food, drink, and music choices were. 

And here’s what we found:

Perfect Party by City

Some of the key highlights we found include:

Food highlights Drink highlights Music highlights Party preferences
Northern Ireland had the highest preference for pigs in blankets (37%), compared to other cities Bristol loves to see cocktails at their house parties more than any other UK city (40%) London showed more preference for hip hop and R&B as their choice of music than any other city (27%) Music was more important to people in Bristol than any other UK city when it came to house parties
Sheffield had the lowest preference for pizza (30%) London prefers wine, cocktails, and even soft drinks over beer and cider While pop and disco hits were the overwhelming top choice of music, Nottingham had the lowest preference for it (32%) While good food was important everywhere, it scored the lowest number of votes in Norwich, where more emphasis was put on music and drinks
Cardiff party-goers scored the lowest when it came to wanting to see sandwiches on the buffet table (36%) 15 of the 17 cities we surveyed highlighted non-alcoholic beverages as the drinks option they’d least like to see at a house party. Brighton was the only city that didn’t give non-alcoholic drinks a single vote While London loves hip-hop and R&B, Glasgow doesn’t with only 7% picking it as their music of choice at parties Party favours and an order of events was the least sought-after thing from house parties, although London showed the highest preference for them than any other city

Assessing the data, Holly Bolus, a lifestyle expert at CDA Group, said: “While those statistics caught the eye, they were clear winners across all of the preferences that can help us understand what it is people want to see when they go to house parties. 

“On a very top level, it’s not surprising that music, food, and drinks are seen as the staples of a good party. It’s been interesting to see how that has broken down by the different age groups but also the different ways people identify themselves in a party environment.

“It’s also important to say that we had an overwhelming response in our survey that highlighted the importance of a good guest list, too.”

How the top five UK cities compare

London – estimated population: 10,803,000
  • Outside of most popular choices, Londoners scored the biggest percentage for wanting hip-hop and R&B, soul and funk classics, and reggae for their house parties
  • That said, Londoners had the lowest preference for wanting to listen to the Top 40 charts and Indie music
  • While wine and cocktails were the drink of choice in London, respondents also showed they had the lowest preference for wanting beer and cider at a house party
  • London had the biggest percentage of people who described themselves as the life of the party, as well as party planning extraordinaire, and the karaoke king/queen
  • Life of the party or not, responding Londoners were least likely to want a theme at their house party
Birmingham – estimated population: 2,517,000
  • Has overwhelming popularity for pop and disco hits for their music choice, with a bigger percentage gap between that and its next best choice out of the top five cities
  • However, Brummies were also least likely to want to listen to classic rock anthems, classical, or jazz at a house party
  • When it came to drinks, Birmingham also were least likely to want wine or cocktails, with their preferences, instead, being on beer, cider, and spirits
  • It also turned out Birmingham party goers had the highest preference for cheese boards, spring rolls, and mini cheesecakes than any of the other big five cities in this list
  • Don’t introduce the games, though! Brummies had the lowest preference for interactive games, as well as party, favours
Manchester – estimated population: 2,449,000
  • Famous for its punk rock era, it turns out that Mancunians had the highest preference for Top 40 chart toppers at their house parties
  • When it came to the top five cities, Manchester party goers identified most as an oversharer or crier at a house party. Manchester also topped the category of people who described themselves as the quiet snacker
  • But while Mancunians topped that the quiet snacker category, they also scored the lowest preference for wanting a cheeseboard at a house party
  • Manchester had the biggest preference for cocktails and mocktails out of the UK’s big five cities
Leeds – estimated population: 1,659,000
  • Yorkshire’s biggest city showed the highest preference for wanting chicken wings, pigs in blankets, trifle, and stuffed mushrooms at their parties
  • However, on the other end of the scale, Loiners also had the lowest preference for mini cheesecakes, cup cakes, and macarons
  • When it came to music choice, Leeds party goers had the highest percentage of people who wanted to listen to classical and jazz music at their house party, compared to the other four cities in this list
  • Had the biggest percentage of people who claimed they attended parties as the supportive sidekick
  • Respondents from Leeds showed they were least likely to want an attentive host when they attended a house party.
Glasgow – estimated population: 1,100,000
  • While largely unpopular throughout the poll, Glaswegians actually had the highest preference for interactive games at their house parties
  • Beer and cider was the overwhelmingly popular choice of drink for a house party but it turns out the Glaswegians, more than any of the other big five cities, other had a preference for tea and coffee
  • Glaswegians are also very clear on what they don’t like, too. Glasgow showed the lowest preference for hip-hop and R&B as well as soul and funk classics
  • Had the lowest preference for spring rolls and pigs in blankets, compared to the other four cities in this list.
  • Only 1 person from Glasgow voted for trifle as a top three food choice at house parties

Five things to avoid at your house party

We all love a tick-list of what we need to have for a house party. And because it is such a subjective thing, it is easy to decide to get a bit of everything to ensure everyone is happy. However, if you just want to focus on what is going to keep the majority happy, here are a few tips to take on board:
  • Perhaps we will regret it the following day but forget the greens and healthy options. We’re attending a party to indulge
  • Inclusivity is key to any successful party but Brits said that filling a limited bar with non-alcoholic options will ruin the vibe you’re going for
  • Classical and jazz genre music is likely to have people heading for the door and not the dance floor
  • Building a guest list? Brits say they want to avoid those whose emotions spill out after one too many and who are going to bring the mood down
  • Forced fun isn’t fun. Put the games away – you only have to have watched Friends to know how this goes.

Creating the perfect house party for each age group

So, we have an idea of preference by city and what Brits don’t want to see at parties but how does this change when we’re hosting a party for a particular age group? As part of our survey, we asked questions to five different age ranges. They were: 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, and 55+.  Below, we have taken all five age groups and are revealing what they have told us their preferences are and what they want to see when they are attending a house party

Ages 16-24

  • Music is the most important party requirement, particularly pop and disco hits and hip & R&B genres. Avoid classical. Indie peaks with the age group and begins a gradual decline.
  • Pizza is the overwhelming food of choice but having a bowl of crisps and chicken wings will go down a treat. Mini quiches, stuffed mushrooms, and trifle will be left behind
  • Cocktails and soft drinks are the drink of choice. Avoid non-alcoholic beers. Wine also wasn’t a popular choice

Ages 25-34

  • Music remains the most important party requirement, but food increases in importance for this age group. Party favours and an order of events, while still unpopular, peak in popularity here
  • Hip-hop and R&B peaks in popularity with Brits aged between 25-34. Classical sees an increase in popularity but jazz and swing music is going to be a huge mood killer. 
  • There’s no change in food choices. Pizza, chicken wings, and crisps are still the most popular, while mini quiches, stuffed mushrooms, and trifle get left behind. We begin to see an increase in sandwiches and cheese boards.
  • Cocktails are still the drink of choice. Soft drinks remain popular but beer and cider become far more popular for this age group. Non-alcoholic options remain unpopular.

Ages 35-44

  • Good music and food grow in importance again. Party favours and an order of events are beginning to decline.
  • There’s a clamour for popular pop and disco hits. Hip-hop and R&B remain popular but rock anthems have grown in popularity to become the third most popular music genre of choice.
  • Yes, pizza again remains the food of choice with crisps and chicken wings. Sandwiches grow in popularity, as do pigs in blankets and spring rolls. Macrons, trifles, and stuffed mushrooms remain an unpopular food choice.
  • Beer and cider is now the most popular choice of drink, closely followed by cocktails and spirits. There’s a go-hard or go-home mentality in play. You’re asking for trouble with mocktails and non-alcoholic beers. 

Ages 45-54

  • There’s almost nothing between the importance of music and food at this point. 
  • Popular pop and disco hits are the overwhelming choice of music. Classic rock anthems are now the second most popular choice, with top 40 chart toppers peaking in popularity.
  • Pizza’s decline begins. It’s still the most popular choice but not by a lot. Sandwiches see a significant rise with chicken wings seeing a significant decline. Macrons, fruit skewers, and trifle are the least popular options, while mini cheesecakes also scored low.
  • Beer and cider’s popularity grows again but party-goers in this age group want to see a varied selection available. Soft drinks are the second most popular option, but wine, cocktails, and spirits also feature highly. Less than 3% in this age group pick non-alcoholic beer as their drink of choice

Ages 55+

  • After music’s dominance, food is now the most important factor behind a good house party. Music is still popular, as is drinks, but this age group wants to see an attentive host more than any other. Less than 5% of respondents in total want party favours and an order of events.
  • Popular pop and disco hits remain the most popular choice of music by some distance. Classic rock anthems are also a clear second. Hip-hop and R&B is now the least favoured genre of music.
  • Pizza has finally been knocked off the top spot. According to Brits aged 55 and over, pizza doesn’t even feature in the top three food choices. Sandwiches are the most popular, followed by cheese boards, and crisps. Cupcakes are at their least popular here but macrons, fruit skewers, and stuffed mushrooms remain unpopular.
  • Wine peaks in popularity for Brits aged 55 and over. Beer and cider remain popular, as do spirits and soft drinks. Mocktails are the least popular with this age group. 

The party personas in more detail

More about the new Nancy range

Nancy heralds a departure from conventional refrigeration. 

Replacing bulky mini-fridges with an upright beautiful design and three colourway options – Cotton White, Tea Rose Pink, and Dark Skies Blue – CDA’s newest product effortlessly marries vintage aesthetics with contemporary demands. The device boasts top-of-the-line technical specifications, ensuring beverages inside are as refreshingly cool as the exterior suggests.

Functionality takes centre stage as Nancy effortlessly accommodates 13 bottles of wine and eight cans, chilling them to perfection at any temperature between 5-20°C. Its four spacious metal shelves cater to a variety of preferences, allowing enthusiasts to maximise their cooling space for an unparalleled experience.

But Nancy is more than a mere drink cooler – it’s a beauty enhancer, too. Ingeniously designed, it doubles up as a cosmetics cooler, storing makeup and beauty products at the ideal temperature.

Moreover, embracing the digital age, Nancy incorporates a wireless phone charger, seamlessly blending modern technology with vintage aesthetics.

Nancy is available now for order in Cotton, Tea Rose, or Dark Skies from CDA’s independent and national stockists, including AO, Marks Electrical, and selected Euronics, with a suggested retail price of £399. A full list of retailers can be found here.

Find out more about CDA’s newest retro lifestyle cooler here.



This data was gathered via a national Censuswide survey that was completed at the beginning of November (6th-8th). The full data set can be found here.

Dishwashers That Do It Better

There’s no doubt that a dishwasher is much better at washing up than a human armed with a full sink. A machine does the job more efficiently and uses much less energy and our latest 15 place-setting models go even further with new features to improve wash results, reduce water and energy use.

The CDI6242 and CDI6732 are integrated machines which feature a new easy-to-fit system that installers will love. A new sliding hinge system means the dishwasher works around the kitchen, not the other way around. There is no need to plan to cut plinths or compromise on design as our dishwashers slide straight in and take the fuss out of design and fitting. These new machines are packed with systems to improve results and reduce energy use. The extra-large interior and flexible space mean there’s plenty of room for all your kitchenware from large pots and pans to delicate glasses.

Dishwasher programmes

HYGIENE PRO offers maximum hygiene through high-temperature washing that washing eliminates 99.9% of all bacteria.
TURBO DRYER Clean, hygienic and convenient. Dry and sparkling dishes, even on a cold cycle!
ANTIBACTERIAL FILTER Anti-bacterial coating containing zinc eliminates pathogens and reduces unpleasant odours.
INFO LED TECHNOLOGY LED floor beam signals the progress of the wash programme. Red – in operation; Green – finished.
STEAM WASH Temperature increase during the cycle generates steam to loosen stubborn deposits and simultaneously sanitise.
UPPER-LEVEL CUTLERY DRAWER Provides easy-to-load space for cutlery, freeing space in the lower basket. There is a second foldable cutlery basket in the lower basket.
UPPER BASKET WITH DIRECTWASH With Direct wash, water is directed straight to the inside of glasses and bottles to make sure every nook and cranny is reached and cleaned brilliantly.
AQUA ZONE Improved cleaning through increased pressure whilst using less water!
DUAL PRO WASH Water pressure can be adjusted in each basket to achieve better washing performance.
TRIPLE WASH Immersive and powerful cleaning with two additional spray arms that can work together with the main spray arm or individually.

Our new machines are designed for easy loading. Handles have a stable comfortable grip with a premium stainless steel finish featuring our signature logo, just a squeeze on the side of the upper basket means it can be dropped even if half-loaded, giving space for that large casserole dish or pan you thought you couldn’t squeeze in. Improved strength of tines means even longer basket life and solid performance, wash after wash.

CDA Dishwasher CDI6242

SL Oven Range. A Kitchen Friend For Every Cook

Extensive testing against competitor brands has revealed that our SL range, single electric multifunction ovens, lead the field in terms of temperature accuracy, even baking, rapid pre-heat (saving time and energy), capacity and ease of use.

The oven is without doubt the key appliance in any kitchen, the source of everything from simple one pot family dishes, to bake off worthy cakes. Accurate temperature control is vital, especially for anyone who loves to bake. Fan cooking delivers even heat on all levels while the other functions available suit any dish from a rich fruit cake that needs long, slow cooking to a quiche beautifully browned on both the top and the bottom. Manufacturers test for baking accuracy using a standard format which judges the result across various shelf positions on even browning on the top and bottom. As every baker knows, temperature fluctuations or a temperature that is lower or higher than selected can ruin a cake. Carefully monitored tests carried out following the industry standard showed CDA SL ovens achieving better results than major competitor brands. “Cooks from beginner to expert can feel reassured that their carefully prepared dishes are being cooked at the right temperature in our SL ovens”, says CDA.

recipe book and tablet

The SL single oven collection includes ten models, ranging from the top of the range SL670SS offering 13 cooking functions plus steam cooking to the entry level seven function SL100SS. All of our ovens have an extra large capacity, making it easy to batch cook – an important fuel and food saver. These ovens are packed with user friendly features including rapid heat up, automatic programmes, lateral lighting and easy to use controls. Our higher end models have safe, super efficient telescopic side racks that make it easy to remove even the heaviest dishes, intuitive touch controls, pyro clean and a roast probe for perfect Sunday dinners.

SL Oven

Enamel trays and oven shelves are larger than those supplied by competitor brands and wire trays are designed without cross wires so that dishes can be moved off the shelf smoothly and easily. The lack of cross wires also makes the shelves easier to clean.

“The pandemic may be over but financial pressures mean that more of us are entertaining at home and are looking for ways to make the most of food and energy by batch cooking. Our larger capacity ovens make it easy to cook up to six dishes at one time – a 77 litre oven will happily accommodate two dishes on each of three shelves and our super accurate temperature control makes it possible to achieve perfect results every time,” says CDA

For Days of Wine and Roses

The days when anyone living in an ordinary family home wouldn’t even consider a wine cooler are gone. The change in our drinking and socialising habits and the availability of reasonably priced compact, efficient electric coolers have made the wine cooler a firm fixture on kitchen wish lists.

The lockdowns and the financial squeeze that has followed have given a new boost to entertaining at home. We aren’t quite back to the prawn cocktail and Black Forest Gateau days, but even if it is only pizza, a glass of wine makes a simple meal into a treat – all the better if you have perfect to-serve vino ready and waiting in your wine cooler.

People are spending more time at home entertaining – and according to a recent feature in The Times, millennials like to stay at home with Netflix, Lady Whistledown, and a good bottle of wine. The interest in wine has never been greater in the UK and Ireland with consumer spending on wine and beer remaining buoyant. The prosecco boom helped – it is a wine that has to be properly chilled.

Wine drinking is no longer just for connoisseurs, with new polling commissioned by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) showing it is now the favoured alcoholic drink for 60% of UK adults, compared to all other alcohol products. Over half (60%) of UK adults, including the majority in each age group and across all regions of the UK, now choose wine over other alcoholic drinks, amounting to over 30 million regular wine consumers across the country.

The polling also found over half of consumers in every UK region chose wine as their drink of choice and wine is now the preferred drink of choice for more 25-34-year-olds than ever before, with over half (57%) choosing wine over other alcoholic drinks.

relaxing with wine

Award-winning range

CDA’s wine chiller range is one of the largest on the market with a choice of nine freestanding models holding 7 – 55 bottles and three sleek integrated designs holding 24-57 bottles. The FWC604 recently achieved Best Buy status from Which? Magazine. The magazine said

“This outstanding CDA wine cooler didn’t do badly in any of our tests and aced most of them. It’s an obvious Best Buy and the best wine cooler we’ve tested. This excellent wine cooler chills quickly maintains an accurate temperature and is energy efficient. It’s a very worthy Best Buy.”

The FWC881 was selected as the best cooler for hosting by Good Housekeeping Magazine

wine cooler

Be a wine buff

Buying a special bottle of wine to save for an anniversary, big birthday or family celebration is a fun idea – but the latest research suggests that unless the bottle is stored in cellar conditions it might not be worth drinking when the big day comes.

Wine kept in a cupboard at home loses quality and flavour four times as quickly as that stored in a wine cooler – so people buying premier cru wines without facilities to store the bottles properly may be wasting their money.

Perfect serving temperature for wine
  • Lighter white wines are best served chilled, between 7-10 ̊ C (44- 50 ̊ F).
  • White wines with more body, or oak, should be served at a warmer temperature of 10-13 ̊ C (50 – 55 ̊ F) – just lightly chilled.
  • Sparkling wines are best served well chilled, at 6 – 10 ̊ C (42 – 50 ̊F)
  • If you over-chilled the wine, it will lose subtle flavours. Leaving the bottle out at room temperature for an hour will solve the problem if it is over-chilled.
  • Red wine should be served at 12-18 ̊C to bring out flavours. Red wine that is too warm can taste tannic; if it is too cold, the flavour will be lost.

Humidity is a critical, yet often overlooked feature in the storage of wine. A relative humidity (RH) of 50% to 70% is recognized as an adequate wine cellar humidity level, with 60% the ideal. Without ideal humidity, wine quality may be affected in several ways.

  • When the humidity is higher than 70%, it will likely cause mould and degradation of the labels and glue.
  • When the humidity is below 50%, corks will begin to dry out resulting in loss of liquid in the bottles and possible oxidation of the wine. When this happens the wine has an unpleasant flavour and smell and is called corked.
wine from cooler

A waste disposal fits into the waste plug area on your sink

The average UK household throws away £470 worth of food every year – totalling 7.3 million tonnes – of which around 40 percent ends up in landfills, emitting dangerous greenhouse gases as it rots. Installing a food waste disposer in your home will divert your food waste from landfill sites by sending it to a wastewater treatment plant where it can be converted into biogas. A disposer has a place, even if you make garden compost, as it will deal with leftover meat, fish, rice, bread, pasta, confectionery, and any other foods that can’t be composted. Some local councils even offer a grant if a disposer is installed – ask at your council offices. Using a disposer can upset the bio balance in a septic tank – you may need to use enzyme additives – check with a tank supplier.

What is a food waste disposer

A food waste disposer is a compact, circular, and highly powerful unit that sits discreetly in the cupboard or space underneath your kitchen sink and is connected to the waste; it takes food waste out of your hands, by grinding it into tiny particles that will flush into your wastewater system just like anything else.

A food waste disposer will revolutionise your kitchen – no more unsightly and smelly waste, no more food residue splattered across the bin lid, and no temptation for pets to conduct a bin raid in search of goodies.

Because the food waste disposer connects to your plughole at one end and your wastewater pipe at the other, the water and other liquid waste that would usually go down the sink will pass through it undisturbed. All it needs is a power supply and a waste water pipe to connect to. Turn on your tap, switch on the unit and scrape your food waste down the specially modified plughole. As food passes into the main chamber a specially designed grinding mechanism reduces it to small particles.

A waste disposer can be either batch feed or continuous feed. Batch feed waste disposers are less popular than continuous units, although they are still an effective way to dispose of unwanted food waste. While continuous feed models start up with the simple press of an air switch, batch feed models require additional steps to work. The downside to a batch feed model is that you must place the waste inside the garbage disposal before turning it on. Therefore, if you have a large volume of waste food to dispose of, it will need to be done in batches, rather than continuously, and you will have to turn the machine on and off.

Why should I get a food waste disposer?

A waste disposer is much more than a gadget. It keeps flies and unpleasant smells away from your kitchen – and helps the environment When food is redirected to the same treatment plants that your wastewater goes to, it can yield valuable biogas, as well as soil nutrients that can be used in fertiliser for the agricultural industry.

What can I put into a food waste disposer?

You might be surprised by just how much you can throw at a food waste disposer – there’s very little food, hard or soft, that its mechanism can’t handle. Even hard items such as bones from chicken, other meats and fish, prawn shells, eggshells, and fruit pips and stones will grind down easily.

Although you can throw most food waste down your waste disposal, it can still get clogged if a certain food is thrown down the unit. To avoid blocked waste disposal, you should make sure you don’t throw away large amounts of:

  • Fatty foods, such as butter and cream sauces.
  • Starchy foods, such as beans
  • Fibrous foods, such as banana peels and potato skin.
  • Hard materials, such as bones.
  • Oyster and mussel shells

How you run your waste disposal is important too. You should make sure that you turn on cold water as you let your waste disposal run. While it runs, throw away small amounts of food, and remember to also let the water flow for a few seconds after you’ve finished

They need to be regularly maintained

Food particles can get stuck or linger even if a waste disposal is used correctly. These food particles will then decay and begin to smell. Therefore, you will need to clean it at least once a week.

They can clog and break

Waste disposals can get clogged if you accidentally drop the wrong type of food or if you throw away food in large amounts. If there’s too much food, your waste disposal can also end up breaking.

Accidentally dropping a piece of cutlery into the disposer is not the end of the world. All disposers come with clear instructions on how to remove foreign bodies safely.

New Waste Disposers from CDA

CDA has added two new waste disposers to its comprehensive collection of kitchen equipment. Both models are continuous feed for fast, efficient operation and fit neatly beneath the sink. The disposers are backed by CDA’s comprehensive two-year parts and labour and five-year parts guarantee.