Alcoholic Ice LolliesIngredients

3 cups Watermelon, cubed
114 grams freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
140 grams White Rum
113 grams Simple Syrup
12 large Spearmint leaves, rough chopped


Blend all ingredients on high until fully incorporated. Pour into popsicle moulds; cover and insert wooden sticks. Tip: applying a layer of foil over the top of the mould or lid of the mould allows placement of wooden sticks and they will not float out of the mould.

Freeze for several hours or overnight. Run hot water for a few seconds on the outside of the mould to release pops!






Alcoholic Ice LolliesIngredients

700ml tonic
45ml gin
¼ lime, juiced
A few slices of cucumber

Mix together the tonic, gin and lime juice then pour into your moulds over the cucumber slices. Easy!






Alcoholic Ice LolliesIngredients

3 tbsp fine sugar
125ml espresso
2 tbsp vodka
4 tbsp water


Dissolve the sugar in the water over the heat and bring to the boil. Take from the heat and pour into a cocktail shaker. Add the cooled down espresso and vodka and shake well. Once it’s a decent temperature pour into moulds and impatiently wait.

Planning the perfect party? Here are 7 bar ideas that will add a unique and trendy twist to your soiree.

  1. Serve an Apertivo

The serving of low-alcohol drinks with light snacks is an Italian tradition designed to stimulate the appetite. The two most popular and classic choices are the Negroni, Pimms No 5 or Italy’s most popular aperitif Aperol (available in South Africa) which is made from bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona. A truly continental start to your event.

Bar Ideas

  1. Rose

Gone are the days when rose was considered the naff tipple of the great unstylish. Blush pink wines and bubblies are now gracing the bars of the ‘It’ crowd – thanks in no small part to influential millennials and Instagrammers. Speaking of the ‘It’ crowd, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Chateau Miraval Rose sold out in 5 hours – all 6 000 bottles of it. Wonder who will get the wine estate?

  1. Non-alcoholic options

The rise of craft beverages has led to a huge increase in products that cater for the non-alcohol consuming market and event organisers can now provide their guests with some really delicious options. They include The Duchess (a sugar-free, alcohol-free gin and tonic), Becks alcohol-free beers or JC le Roux’s Le Domaine and Le Fleurette non-alcoholic bubbly – which still has the yummy yeasty flavour of champagne that is completely absent from the carbonated grape juice that is normally passed off as alcohol-free bubbly.)

  1. Well-executed classics

Chaotic times have driven people to seek out simpler things – which is why there is a resurgence in the popularity of classics like the gin gimlet, Manhattans and light summery Bellinis. Create them using original recipes with as few frills as possible.

  1. Boozy Ice Lollies

The fun and flavour is endless.  Choices range from a simple gin and tonic lolly to grapefruit, basil and vodka or a peach bellini. Visit our blog here for our 3 Favourite Boozy Ice Lolly recipes.

Bar Ideas

  1. Chalk Boards

Add a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour to your bar décor set up with funny signs. They’re also a handy way to communicate what’s available if you have limited your bar stock to certain beverages like soft drinks, beers, ciders and wine.

  1. Lounge Pockets

If you’re aiming to ensure your guests are relaxed and at ease, set up a few lounge pockets around the bar area. Let’s be honest, no one really likes standing around when they can chill on a comfy couch and have a catch up with friends.

Check out our lounge furniture here.

XL Events Lounge Pockets

It’s early June and already nights are becoming a little cooler. It’s a time of year when keeping your guests warm becomes a top priority. Nothing spoils a day or night out than cold toes and noses!

Here are some tips to bring warmth to your events this winter:

1. Serve soup as a starter

Warm your guests from the inside out by starting with a nice hot soup. Make sure it is served piping hot and chose something hearty and perhaps even a little exotic like an Asian ramen noodle soup or a French Bouillabaisse.

How to Keep your event guests warm this winter


2. Serve brandy or port as a welcome drink

This is a legitimate scientific fact: alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate, particularly the capillaries just under the surface of your skin. When you have a drink, the volume of blood brought to the skin’s surface increases, making you feel warm. Remember hot chocolate for the non-drinkers.


3. Have blankets or pashminas available

Have baskets of blankets dotted around your event venue or place one on each guest’s chair. Have pashminas embroidered with your logo or initials (for your wedding) and give them away to your female guests as mementos.

How to Keep your event guests warm this winter

We tied these blankets with a ribbon to present them beautifully. Browse our selection of blankets available for rental here.

4. Hire infrared heaters

I always recommend infrared (IR) heaters to my clients. IR heaters provide instant heat as soon as you turn them on so you don’t have to warm up the space beforehand. Most importantly, you can direct the heat – infrared heat is invisible light with lots of energy so when the “light” hits an object, heat is created. IR heaters are also far more economical than gas heaters.

How to Keep your event guests warm this winter

Infrared Heaters are the perfect choice for tented events as they pose no fire risk. Rent infrared heaters here.

5. Host your event under a tent

One of the most beautiful events I’ve ever worked on was held under a starry night sky in a clear tent. You get the best of both worlds – a beautiful view and toasty warmth. Even Bedouin tents with open sides can make an enormous difference as they trap heat.

How to keep your event guests warm this winter

There are a multitude of options for tented events including a clear or opaque roof.

6. Have a hot drink station available throughout the event

Having a hot drink station serving tea, coffee, hot chocolate and perhaps even gluhwein is a terrific way to ensure that your guests can warm up as often as they feel they need to. Don’t make them wait until the end of the night!


Staying competitive in the event planning industry means constantly staying abreast of trends in event design and working them into your projects and proposals. While fads come and go, trends can stick around for years and sometimes decades – making setting aside time to research them a worthwhile pursuit.

Here are five trends in event design that we’re using to inspire our looks:

1. Natural Textures

Events filled with non-recyclable plastics and cheap mass-produced bling are a thing of the past. People are searching for a closer, and more conscious, connection to nature. Bring the outside in by choosing handcrafted wooden tables with interesting and imperfect grains and make them central to your look and feel by ditching the tablecloths.

We recently planned a social entrepreneurship conference and the event design was inspired by concepts such as growth, nurture and authenticity. We kept this ‘green’ theme as a golden thread throughout the conference and after-party. You can hire all the furniture pictured here from our online rental catalogue here.

We recently planned a social entrepreneurship conference and the event design was inspired by concepts such as growth, nurture and authenticity. We kept this ‘green’ theme as a golden thread throughout the conference and after-party. You can hire all the furniture pictured here from our online rental catalogue here.


2. Charging Towers

Let’s get real for a second. No one can be parted with their mobile phones! When your guests start noticing their batteries drop to 10%, anxiety and panic begins to set in. Make sure that your event has a number of strategically placed charging stations available and while you’re at it, have the wifi password posted on AV screens or on beautifully designed signage. You can even use charging towers as a branding or décor opportunity like we did for this rooftop luncheon in Cape Town.

XL Events Event Design
Functional charging towers are disguised as décor pieces. Just don’t forget to tell your guests that they’re available to use!

3. Local Flowers and Succulents

As climate change and water security becoming a topic that is top of mind for everyone, switching to using local water wise plants and flowers is an obvious (and sustainable) one. We have a gorgeous array of indigenous flowers like proteas, aloe, strelitzia, agapanthus, daisies as well as an endless selection of interesting succulents. And what’s more, they’ll guarantee a wilt-free event.

XL Events Event Design
Our friends at Flowers in the Foyer are always able to give us great advice on what flowers are in season and are also skilled at creating intricate floral centrepieces.

4. Geometric Shapes

They’re everywhere and they are so much fun to play with. Whether you feature them in your invitation artwork, on your linen or in your table décor, geometric patterns give your event design a slick, modern edge. Don’t be afraid to mix them with different colours and textures, but remember that – as always – less is more.

5. Feature Crockery and Glassware

A simple way to take your event design to a whole new level is to opt for feature crockery and glassware. Don’t discount the astounding effect that a coloured wine glass or handmade side plate can have on your event look and feel. This is an especially important choice if food will be centre stage. Remember that we eat with our eyes first.

XL Events Event Design
From the addition of a simple base plate or the choice of a feature wine glass – attention to these details will take your event design from average to awesome.

XL Events Event Design