The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on 14 June, and the celebrations aren't just limited to the stadium. Whether it was the moment Irish fans mended a damaged car at Euro 2016 or the Japanese fans diligently clearing up stadiums after matches at the 2014 World Cup, international tournaments give supporters the opportunity to show teamwork, character and fun; some qualities you can share with loved ones at your own world cup party.
A well-planned garden party is the epitome of summer chic, and the perfect décor is in plentiful supply when the World Cup comes around. Quintessentially British bunting, smart tablecloths in national colours and bowls of popcorn, peanuts and other sporting snacks are ideal for the occasion. Equally, because of the sporting focus, you have a ready-made centrepiece: the big match. Rent a screen and compact projector, complete with speakers, to give your attendees an experience to rival those set up in the parks of every major capital around the world.
If you don’t want to rely on the weather for a successful world cup party, give guests the stadium hospitality experience in your own home. Welcome them into their very own 'corporate box' with drinks and canapés in a stylish mingling space, decked out with World Cup schedules, programmes and memorabilia. Then move into your main stadium arena, which you can achieve with parallel rows of chairs angled toward the big screen. Investing in good surround sound and committing to a host-initiated Mexican wave or two will ensure you deliver that authentic stadium atmosphere. Especially if you invest in a traditional usherette tray to dish out drinks and snacks.
Wherever you choose to host your guests, it’s the details that will really capture their imagination. Get into the spirit of the international competition by preparing a world tour on a plate – traditional tapas from Spain, antipasti from Italy and bratwurst with sauerkraut for Germany will make an appealing platter for your guests. Alternatively, go for a show-stopping main dish with cheese fondue, a crowd-pleasing favourite from Switzerland. For dessert, try a classic French tarte tatin, or prepare Portuguese custard tarts.
Every good game deserves extra entertainment, from the pre-match warm up, through to the half-time show and post-match festivities. Start by determining the ultimate superfans at your gathering with your very own World Cup Quiz. There are plenty of examples online to choose from. When it comes to mingling, ensure you stimulate your guests with visually exciting games and diversions that allow them to branch off into smaller groups. The key is catering for all ages and abilities with a range of options. For example, table football, football-themed piñatas, or a small five-a-side goal for penalty shootouts. To bring everyone back together for kick-off, you could even hire a karaoke machine for national chants and songs. It's handy for practical details like announcements too.
However you choose to celebrate, remember that football is first and foremost about coming together and celebrating a shared love of sport. As long as your interior design ideas are consistent, comfortable and fun, everyone will have a good time.