The Vivant’s Guide to Epic Rolling Parties


We’ll never throw a party halfway, and our most sincere belief is that simply calling some friends, buying a bag of potato chips and a case of beer just doesn’t make the cut. Having a party that people will remember takes some effort, some careful planning and yes, some money. In our book, “having a few friends over for dinner” transcends the ordinary and should become something with a theme. Leave the pizza takeout for the college dorm crowd and do something magnificent.

The utilitarian fare of bagged snacks, cheap lager and your host greeting you at the door in sweatpants will soon be forgotten, as it should be. Such events are never meant to exist. The purpose of a party should be about more than the moment, it should be about the memory – and your party should be something people will still be talking about ten years from now. You can make it happen.

Most recently, your editor was in a French mood, and invited eight guests. Following a cocktail hour with hand-crafted martinis and a charcuterie and cheese tray for an appetizer, we served coq au vin and Bordeaux wine, followed by a scrumptious homemade crème brulee, which we enjoy making because it gives us an opportunity to play with a blowtorch in the kitchen. Just to set the mood, we played Edith Piaf softly for our background music. Our one friend who insists on pronouncing the main dish as “cocoa van,” as if it’s some kind of chocolate party bus, was not invited. And yes, people still talk about it. It took some time, but the ingredients were actually not that expensive – but the combination was incomparable.

And speaking of party buses, here’s nothing quite like it for a perfect special event, complete with music, drinks, and a DJ for a true Vivant-style special event. Want to throw an epic bachelorette party, college graduation event or get together with a fab group of friends just because? During our time in Canada we took the opportunity to hire a Toronto party bus, invite about 40 guests in their finest party clothes (oh, there’s just something about a woman in a sparkly dress!) and throw an epic rolling party. This particular bus had color-changing LED lights which really set the scene and made it seem more like a nightclub than a large vehicle, and made me recall having spent one glorious evening in the ‘70s at Studio 54, sipping cocktails, practicing my disco moves and chatting up Manhattan’s most beautiful women. And yes, I even spotted a celebrity or two. Oh, how those were the days!

To make the party bus experience complete though, I wanted more than just lights, music and women in sparkly dresses. To make it memorable, I added a live DJ, champagne and the most fabulous cake you could imagine, and just to add that little extra final touch, I ordered flowers to be strategically placed throughout the bus.

Planning? Sure. I started planning a month ahead of time, reserving the bus, ordering the cake, selecting the music and even buying a new suit, a new pair of brogues and a new fedora for myself just for the occasion. And usually I invite people a few weeks ahead of time to give them the opportunity to reserve the event on their schedule, but this time I tried something different, and it made the event all the more special. I kept the plan a secret until the day before, then just spent the day on email, phone and text chat cultivating the perfect last-minute guest list. Believe me, when somebody is invited to an exquisite last-minute rolling party like this, the excitement simply cannot be contained. That rolling party was six years ago. Do people still talk about it like it was yesterday? Yes, they do. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Will you be invited? You’ll just have to wait and see.