Plan your lunch out very carefully

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Christmas may seem quite a while away yet but don’t allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security.

The run-up to December 25 is a busy period and diaries fill up fast, so if you are planning a family get-together or work do’, it’s advisable to get something pencilled in as soon as possible.

It’s also sensible to set a budget, but remember that the size of your budget will ultimately impact on the type of Christmas party experience which you want everyone to have.

Find out as soon as possible the amount of people attending, what they are prepared to spend per head, the type of location they would favour and the date which would best suit.

Everyone enjoys celebrating the festive season with a drink or two, but food is definitely key to the success of any party, so you may wish to phone around some potential venues to find out more about their festive fayre.

Most restaurants, hotels and hostelries will offer special set lunch and/or dinner menus on a Christmas theme, featuring turkey plus all the trimmings for the traditionalists - but with other options to suit different tastes.

With starters and desserts and so on all usually included in the price, these party menus offer great value for money and diners can often select what they want in advance of the big night out.

It’s advisable to book as early as possible, as popular venues go quickly, so if you’re this year’s designated party planner for family, friends or work colleagues, it might be time to get cracking.