Yes, New Year's Eve may be over-hyped but that only makes it a better opportunity to surprise the cynics and give them and end-of-year blowout to remember. With the help of a few gadgets to amp up the wow factor, they'll be begging you to host another one next year.
Magimix Le Blender
A special occasion calls for extra-special drinks. Don’t just crack open another supermarket six pack: with this powerful 1200W blender you can whizz up perfect crushed ice and superbly blended cocktails in no time. Its 1.8L capacity means you can make large batches so you’re not stuck being a barman for the whole night, and once everyone’s had their fill of fruity booze, it’ll do a fine line in soups and smoothies for your hungover New Year fitness kick.
Raise the stakes as you raise a slice to the new year. Simply load up this Russian roulette-themed plate with cake, pizza or any other easily dividable snack and you’ve got a high-calorie, high-pressure game on your hands. It could decide who goes on a booze run or simply add a little spice to proceedings in that pivotal hour after midnight when guests may start to wander home. After all, what you choose as the forfeit for someone uncovering the loaded chamber is up to you...
JBL Pulse Speaker
Unless you’re on your final warning with the neighbourhood watch, you’ll need some serious tunes to get that party started. This Bluetooth speaker with quick NFC pairing comes with its very own programmable LED light show, so your guests will be able to see the beat as well as hear it. Two 40mm drivers and a custom-tuned bass port deliver the tunes, while there are five pre-programmed light themes and more available to download. Its battery is good for five hours, or up to ten with the lights off.
Add some drama to the last seconds of 2014 by beaming the Big Ben countdown (or Jools Holland’s Hootenanny) in jumbo-vision onto your wall. Bēm’s stylish projector is small, portable and easy to set up with its own remote control, a screen size of up to 90in and a resolution of 1280x800. It has built-in speakers as well as a 3.5mm output for connecting to the JBL speaker if you need to. Just hook it up to the TV feed from your PVR or laptop via HDMI and you’re all ready to go.
Ion Party Ball
Set the mood in lights without the need to rearrange the furniture to make room for your uncle’s disco box. Ion’s Party Ball simply plugs into an overhead/pendant light fitting, so it’s perfectly positioned to project multicoloured light patterns across your walls with the minimum of fuss. Its LED lighting reacts to the beat, pulsating and rotating 360°. If you don’t have a light fitting in the right place, fear not – it comes with an extension cord that can be used with a wall socket.