Galentine’s Day is a heart-warming celebration which adds a poignant touch to the month of love. Celebrated on 13 February – the day before Valentine’s Day – it encourages women to spend time with their closest friends, in the spirit of “ladies to celebrate ladies”.
The day was originally created in the hit TV show Parks and Recreation, when the character Leslie explained the reasoning behind her annual brunch, held on 13 February, as a day dedicated to her girlfriends. Since then, Galentine’s Day has come to life off screen, winning the hearts of ladies around the world.
Whether it’s your sister, mother, new friends or those you’ve known since your schooldays, invite them round for a fun-filled evening this February. From awards ceremonies to creative workshops, there are plenty of ways to make a night in feel special.
Play with your food
Start the party in the kitchen by making a tasty batch of homemade pizzas. Hand out novelty kitchen aprons to each of your guests and put a bottle on ice for a Galentine’s Day toast. Take a selfie before you get stuck in – you could print a copy for each of your guests as a memento.
Prepare the pizza dough and sauce before they arrive, then set up the table as your workstation. Stock up on toppings to suit all tastes – from pepperoni to vibrant vegetables and jalapenos for a spicy kick. When your culinary creations are ready for baking, pop them in the oven for 20 minutes until they’re crispy round the edges.
Relax together on a big sofa – like the Emperor – and enjoy indulgent slices of homemade pizza paired with a glass of fizz. Not won over with Italian? Try homemade sushi or another cuisine that takes your fancy.
Do something creative
They say you’re at your most creative when you’re relaxed, so spending time with the ones who are special to you is the perfect time to get those creative juices flowing.
Host a painting night this Galentine’s Day, either with help from a professional artist or of your own accord. Pick up some canvases and paints from the local art shop, and transform your lounge into a studio, laying down sheets to protect your carpet and furnishings from drips. Find an object to focus on – perhaps a vase of flowers or something more eccentric – position it at the front of the room and pick up your paint brushes.
There are so many creative avenues to explore. You could discover the joys of arm-knitting or have a go at jewellery-making. Reminisce the old times by making friendship bracelets for each other, using coloured pieces of string to create something special. There’s something utterly charming about these little adornments, and particularly poignant too.
Get out the games
Roll the dice and get some healthy competition flowing with a games night. Bring out classics such as Cluedo and Monopoly or deal the cards and try your hand at poker. Light some candles to create a cosy atmosphere and get lost in the action.
If you enjoy fancy dress and a healthy dose of drama, host a murder-mystery night. You can buy game packs which explain all you need to know, including storylines, character descriptions and scripts. From 1920s glamour to James Bond-inspired plots, you’ll find the perfect theme for your friendship group.
Have a clothes swap
Clothes-swap parties tick all the boxes. They’re kind to the environment and they help you to clear out your closet for some new pieces too. You can set the guidelines, asking your friends to bring clothes, shoes and accessories they don’t want anymore, or expand the rules to include books and other household items.
Set up shop in the lounge – a big sofa, like the Majestic, is perfect – using rails to hang up your clothes and making sure everything is on display. Alternatively, you could each talk through what you’ve brought with you, giving everyone a sneak peek before the swapping commences. You can either make a straight swap with your friend, or if there’s nothing you’d like to switch, encourage your guests to make a small donation to a charity jar.
Host an awards ceremony
The heart of this annual celebration is encouraging “ladies to celebrate ladies”, so do it in style with your own awards ceremony. This is your opportunity to express how much you appreciate each other – and it’s also a great excuse to wear your fanciest outfits.
As the host, you need to think of the award categories and send out the nomination forms a week or two before the big day. Order some trophies online – or go green and buy some plants, like potted succulents – roll out the red carpet and make sure everyone has prepared their acceptance speech. You could reveal the winners at the dinner table or in the lounge – the Midas is a big sofa, which will make sure everyone is comfortable throughout the evening.