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The Ultimate Cocktail Bar.

The Ultimate Bar Cart

As summer slowly sidles off-stage in the wake of Autumn’s first flush of colour, cool drinks on the terrace and in the parks and pub gardens start to become a distant memory. But the inevitable drawing-in of September nights doesn’t mean the party has to stop there.

Instead, we at RMW towers say, bring the refreshments inside with you as you reside by the fire and revel in the ‘cocktail hour’. Be it due to the popularity of Mad Men or the influence of our cousins across the pond, we’ve seen the resurgence of cocktails and bar carts of late. And from your enthusiastic response to the lovely Lauren C’s bar tray it seems that you can’t get enough of them either.

It was William Morris that said ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful‘ and the bar cart is no exception. Whilst your bar cart serves a functional purpose there’s no reason why it can’t be aesthetically pleasing or sentimental too.

Below are my top tips in styling the ultimate bar cart*

An idea packed inspiration post showing you how to make a glamorous and chic bar cart for your home and wedding.

If the budget allows it then it’s worth investing in an actual cart – preferably one that moves on wheels since this makes it so much easier to ‘take the party with you’ as and when required. I’d recommend spending as much as you can possibly afford to boot – remember folks you really do get what you pay for.

Choose a cart that has a high storage capacity (there’s nothing worse than a crammed bar cart where glassware and bottles jostle with one another for space) and a rail to hold everything in place. Better still are removable trays to allow easy transportation of drinks from cart to guest and inbuilt racks to enable wine to be stored on its side.

If space is at a premium or there’s just no way that you’re going to be able to afford the cart and that pair of shoes that you’ve had your eye on for the last two months, then consider creating a bar ‘tray’ using a vintage tray or a reclaimed side table instead. I particularly love this mother of pearl version from Zara below.

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If you want to be considered Queen of the Cocktails then make sure that you’ve got the necessary tools for the job; most cocktails utilise either a shaker, an opener, a stirrer and/or strainer at some point in their creation so it’s definitely worth adding these items to your cart’s inventory. On a side note, it’s always a good idea to invest in an savvy ice bucket and tongs too.

One of the key components of a successful bar cart is gorgeous glassware. Be it a set of priceless cut crystal wine glasses that have been handed down through your family, some kitsch babycham saucers (LOVE those!) or a collection of mismatched colourful tumblers, it’s always worth paying due care and attention to the vessels in which you serve your drinks. Alternatively pretty up plain glasses by entwining some blooms around then stem for a cheap quick fix alternative.

Speaking of glassware, try picking bottles that match the beauty of your drinking vessels when kitting out your cart – Hendricks Gin and Chambord are both examples of great design as well as taste. Alternatively if you’re a fan of a particular type of spirit but you’re not so keen on the design of its container then it’s worth dispensing it into a different vessel such as a cut glass dispenser or these etched ‘white’ and ‘red’ beauties shown here.

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Stop right there.

Whilst we’ve talked about the tools of the trade and the glassware and the booze, you don’t actually have to cram every single piece of ‘barware’ you’ve collected on the way onto the aforementioned cart. Talk about over-egging the… ummmm… eggnog.

Instead mix it up. Keep things versatile by choosing a variety of different liquor bottles, decanters and glassware as well as colours and textures too. Don’t be afraid to play with the organisation and arrangement of the cart either. Ultimately in this case, it’s all about balance – not so little that your bar cart looks as if someone’s already been at the drinks cabinet the night before nor so full that everything goes flying when you try to mix a cocktail.

One of the easiest ways of changing it up is to opt for coasters, napkins and stirrers in a particular colour scheme or theme. Etsy abounds with plenty of examples that won’t make a major dent in your pocket but if you’re feeling crafty then it really is very simple to make your own stirrers and napkins by commissioning a bespoke stamp with your initials on or even a faux crest.

Oh, fancy!

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Think outside of the box when it comes to styling your cart too; display a voluminous arrangement of sweet smelling blooms in a statement vase next to your glassware or light up your treasures with an oversized lamp instead. I particularly love to have a pot of mint (in a mercuried silver vase of course!) on my bar tray so that it’s to hand when I’m making a mojito or two.

Above all, your bar cart – like all of your interiors – should be an extension of you, of your personality, your style and your life journey so far. Wherever possible try integrating items that either reflect your personal style and tastes – as Lauren did with her glitzy and fun pineapple forks. Such ‘items’ can include anything from favourite bottles of wine, a treasured set of glasses, monogrammed shakers or even vintage metal cocktail sticks.

What will you choose?

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So have we whet your tastebuds then?

Will you be integrating a cocktail hour into your big day?

And how many of you are already the lucky owners of glamorous drinks station already? And what component can’t you live without?

And come and tell us what your favourite tipple is….I’m partial to gin and elderflower flavoured tonic water or two.

All my love Lolly xxx

*RMW takes no responsibility for any violent cases of the green-eyed monster caused as a result of following these steps.

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A Smattering Of Pattern.

Patterned Wedding Inspiration

When I’ve talked about wedding themes in the past it’s typically followed two lines of thought – either that of a particular colour palette or that of a specific concept such as ‘Bohemian Chic’ or ‘Nautical’. 

But something niggled at me. There was something missing, something I hadn’t addressed with you lovely lot. 

My lightbulb moment arrived when my eyes alighted on Amy and Ric’s wedding last week and their magnificent table runners that matched oh so perfectly with the groomsmens’ ties. 

Pattern. 

Yes pattern

I admit, I’ve taken this particular decor theme for granted, an oversight on my part but I’m here to rectify things, to put it right.

So folks, the rest of this post is dedicated to spots, stripes, polka dots and floral prints and I’ll even throw in a bit of lace inspiration for good measure.

Shall we get started then.

Polka Dots And Spots

Girly and fun I don’t think I’ve met one person who doesn’t love a good dotty print. 

Polka dotted weddings have made their presence known for a little while now and I’m not really seeing any signs of them disappearing. Perhaps this is because it’s just so blinking easy to integrate them into your big day; from spotted straws and stationery to dotty cakes and photobooth backdrops.

Polka Dots And Spots

I’d really love to meet a Winter bride that chooses to wear polka dots tights underneath her gown; they’re so pretty they make my heart ache. Add a dotted tulle veil on top and I think I could faint from cuteness overload.

And I haven’t forgotten the boys either. Why not complement your bride to be with a spotted pocket square or tie and forgo the traditional buttonhole by choosing a dotty feather like the one pictured here instead.

You’ll look sexier than a girl in a yellow polka dotted bikini!

Feeling Stripy

Sophisticated and classic, stripes are often associated with nautical affairs but you don’t need to be a coastal bride to use this type of design in your big day decor. 

I love the subtle masculinity that stripes bring to a wedding setup – a preppy vibe if you will. And nothing quite beats a bridesmaid in bold bands – they just look so fun!

The trick to avoiding a beachside atmosphere (if you’re keen bypass this look) is to use colour palettes that don’t fall into the navy and sea green spectrum. Peaches, pinks, greys, golds and silvers are all wonderful alternatives and bring with them a luxe feel to the proceedings.

Stripes

Equally try experimenting with different widths and contrasting materials to make your stripes interesting as well as playing with multiple angles like on both of these table settings displayed here.

Stripes are best incorporated into wedding decor through clothing and through linens but that doesn’t mean that you can’t introduce such a pattern in your wedding stationery, your favours or even your tableware.

Perhaps one of my favourite weddings I attended presented the most beautiful plates which were emblazoned with a bold band of colour across the centre that guests could take home with them. They looked gorgeous lined up against each other and created a focal piece of decor too.

Floral Fancies

Perfect for the rustic bride or for the bride that still has fond memories of her blue floral junior school uniform (just me then?), floral prints are gorgeously pretty without being twee and saccharine. 

Flora and fauna inspired prints are perhaps the easiest to integrate into your big day in part because there’s just so many to choose from; there’s literally something for everyone. 

From delicate designs to bolshy blooms, colour pop flowers to pastel beauties, floral prints cater deliciously for both vintage inspired affairs or more modern soirees. It’s all about which print you decide to use.

Floral Fancies

If you’re looking for something contemporary I’d recommend opting for larger prints on table linen for example or simplistic leaf-like trails like that which appears on the napkin below and on the place card at the top here.

If vintage glamour is the name of your game then I’d suggest mixing it up…literally. Handpick mismatched flowery plates or gift antique floral handkerchiefs as wedding favours – this will add impact as well as serving a purpose too.

Let your wedding party form the theme too by dressing groomsmen in floral shirts and maids in floaty blossoming dresses. If you love the idea but prefer a subtler touch for fear of looking like the Von Trapp Family singers why not adorn your envelopes with a flowery motif or your wedding cake with a floral garnish instead.

A Trace Of Lace

I love lace.

In fact, I love lace so much that if I hadn’t been focused on channeling the preppy, ‘A Weekend In The Country’ vibe in my decor then I think I would have headed down a lace inspired route.

Ethereal and feminine, I love the versatility that lace possesses, in part because it can take on so many different forms, be that intricate and delicate or large and bold. And it’s this variety that makes it interesting.

We’ve seen the popularity of wedding cakes that resemble the material of a bride’s dress boom and so I anticipate that reflecting materials and textures in the wider wedding decor will be popular too.

Evoke a lace inspired feel by utilising lace runners or overcloths on your reception tables or write on lasercut wedding stationery and throw confetti in a similar pattern to your dress. For a lace inspired wedding that’s easy on the pocket, use doilies as plate chargers calligraphied with guests names at each setting or string them together to make homemade bunting.

Lace Traces

The key to making lace ‘work’ within your decor is not to go over the top with it. Pare it down with rustic, mismatched tables or wholesome centrepieces such as cotton branches.

The trick really is to let the lace do the talking.

Does pattern make your heart sing? Are you a stripy bride?

Perhaps you’ve got your heart set on some polka dotted tulle? I could go gaga for a dotty veil!

Have you ever attended a soirée where pattern is the theme of the day? What was it like?

I can’t wait to hear all about it. 

All my love Lolly xxx

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