1. Essential bubbles

    It wouldn't be a New Year's celebration without something bubbly to toast the coming 12 months. If hosting a big bash, try a fruity drink you can make in a big batch, such as this festive sangria or clementine cocktail, or for non-drinkers, this tart cranberry punch. If staying in with loved ones, this sweet sorbet fizz makes a gorgeous drink to share, simply add a scoop of raspberry (or lemon) sorbet to each glass and pour over your bubbly of choice. 

  2. Simple starters

    Whether hosting for two or 20, attempting three courses can be daunting. Keep your dinner party plans simple with an easy starter you can rustle up in moments. Both this Spanish-inspired dish of prawns, roasted peppers and saffron mayo, and crumble-topped, chestnut-stuffed mushrooms can be assembled ahead with just the ciabatta to toast and mushrooms to bake before serving. Plus, they're easy to multiply to feed a crowd.

    For something super elegant, plates of this salmon and beetroot carpaccio are a great no-cook option, or for a more informal affair, get baking the day before to make these hearty fig and shallot rolls to serve with a gooey baked Camembert or Brie so that guests can tear, share and dunk as they like. 

  3. Veggie delights

    Platters of interesting salads and sides can help bulk out a veggie feast and add much needed texture and colour. Both this seasonal chicory and clementine salad and kale, pea and fennel salad have a great combination of fresh, sweet, bitter and crisp elements to keep things interesting. Both recipes serve two, but can easily be scaled up.

  4. Hassle-free desserts

    New Year's is a time for one last indulgent dinner before January, so why not pull out all the stops for a showstopping pud. This Black Forest trifle shows off impressive layers of squidgy brownies, boozy cherries, chocolate custard and whipped cream, yet can all be prepared ahead with some easy ready-made shortcuts. To save on fridge space, fill your freezer with trays of this easy cocktail-themed gin and tonic granita, ready to scoop into glasses to serve. 

  5. One for the kids

    If you’re catering for little ones early on in the evening, try keeping them sweet with some baked treats they can grab as they play. These melt-in-the-middle red velvet cookies wouldn't look out of place at a fancy dinner party yet are filled with gooey chocolate hazelnut spread that kids will love. For something a bit more fun, these cute polar bear cupcakes are easy to bake and decorate, too.

  6. Bold flavours

    Simple but stylish is the key to a great canapé, and these ideas are packed with flavour. Bring in vibrant Middle Eastern flavours with these rolled pomegranate and aubergine skewers, or stay classic with mini toad-in-the-holes topped with punchy mustard. For a make-ahead option, these salmon roll-ups have a wasabi kick and are easy to assemble before your event. 

  7. Mix it up

    Want a change after all that turkey? Make your New Year's celebration the time to try something a little different. Although you may not have cooked duck at home before, it's very easy to do and this recipe for orange-braised duck legs is the ideal special dinner for two. If feeding a crowd, salmon makes an impressive main course. This rice-stuffed whole salmon is packed with pomegranate seeds, tomatoes and green beans for flavour.