How to Host the Perfect 1920s Christmas Cocktail Party

The decadent and glamorous lifestyle of the 1920s was the inspiration for our interiors here at Swallowfields. The 1920s was also the era for luxury African safaris – that’s why our safari tent interiors blend 1920s art-deco glamour with exotic touches of African safaris.⁠

Thinking of hosting a Christmas party but want to do something different from the norm? Why not consider a 1920s Christmas cocktail party?!

A Brief History of the 1920s Safaris

Following the First World War, the 1920s, also known as the Roaring 20s or Jazz Age, was a time for celebration and parties. It was a decade of jazz, flappers, bootleggers, and bathtub gin, as well as the golden era for African safaris.

In the 1920s, wealth was associated with territory and land, and camping was simply “living out in the bush in style”. Former US President Theodore Roosevelt’s safari tent boasted a luxury hot tub and a private library with over 60 books – very impressive for the time!

How to Create the Perfect 1920s Party

Enticing invitations

Step one to hosting your Roaring 20s Christmas party is sending out the invitations. Make sure they convey your theme and the expectations for the party and take the opportunity to inform your guests of the dress code. You could personalise them with pictures of you and your friends/family dressed up in 1920s costumes. Black and white works well, with a touch of silver or glitter thrown in.

Dazzling décor

Glam up your home with 1920s Christmas decorations. Add some pearls or glitter to your Christmas tree baubles and string some beads around the tree. Set up multiple round tables with decks of cards and poker chips – gambling was popular back in the 20s. If possible, incorporate a bar area, complete with Christmas decorations.

Magical music

They don’t call it the Jazz Age for nothing! Music and dancing played a massive part in the era, so make sure you include some 1920s tunes. Create a space for dancing and encourage your guests to participate in the Charleston or Black Bottom – you can dance the night away!

Fantastic food

To keep it simple, we’d recommend a finger food buffet with some canapes. In the 1920s, many people served fruit at parties as it was not readily available and considered a luxury. Bite-sized sandwiches with various fillings are an excellent choice.

Outrageous outfits

The Roaring 20s consisted of flappers and dappers – a fringed dress for the ladies and a sharp suit for the men. It’s important to accessorise, so complete your outfit with some pearls or a feather headband. Ladies, don’t forget the bold red lip; and fellas, make sure you polish your shoes!

Pretty pictures

You want guests to come away from your party with some great photos to remember the day. Set up a photo booth area where guests can take pictures in their costumes. You could consider having a box of props to hand, such as fake cigars or empty bottles of moonshine, to add to the fun.

1920s Christmas Cocktails

Although alcohol was banned under the 1920s Prohibition, this didn’t stop people from consuming cocktails on the sly! Here are some of our favourite recipes for delicious 20s Christmas cocktails, courtesy of Love to Know.

1920s Inspired Staycations at Swallowfields

Here at Swallowfields, we deliver a high-end safari camp experience reminiscent of the early 20th Century. Click here to book your stay today!


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