How To Score The Perfect Six Nations Party

When Christmas is all wrapped up and the Hogmanay hangover all but a distant, muddled memory, attentions turn, quite rightly, to the next course of business. Now, this can seem slim pickings in these later, unsympathetic winter months. Burns Night is brilliant, but celebrations oh too brief. Valentine’s Day can be wonderful, but can be equally depressing if your closest relationship is with a sandwich. And the spring time is…well…who knows, frankly, when the sunshine is going to turn up.

But, for some of us, the beginning of February is when the year truly kicks off, as the first annual festival rolls into town. Of course, it’s not for everybody. Of that there is little doubt. Few people understand all of the rules (even/especially those who profess to love the game), it can cut the survival rate of any healthy relationship basically in half and the pubs are so packed with bustling, beardy, burly sing-song folk that getting a quiet corner to unwind with an off the record chardonnay and a good/bad book is an opportunity that can only be fantasized about.

If you love it, though, you really do love it. It is not a choice, as love rarely is. It runs through the veins and lives with every ferocious beat of the heart.

We are talking, of course, of the Six Nations.

It may have all started last week with a narrow defeat for the Scottish boys, but this Saturday the England team are coming to town and there is rarely a more tasty fixture than the old Calcutta Cup.

Edinburgh is going to be bursting at the seams with rugby enthusiasts and, with the weather at this point looking suspiciously dicey, you can put a firm bet on any watering hole with a television being nothing short of animated.

If this isn’t really your thing, but you’d really like to catch the match on Saturday, why not organise a Six Nations bash at your place?

Need some tips? Well, look no further. Here are five things to think about before the big day:

Don’t shy away from inviting the opposition: It may all look like a bit rough old sort of a sport, but the truth of the matter is you really could not find nicer group of people than those associated with the game frequently referred to as ‘chasing the egg’. Both on and off the field, the ladies and gentlemen of the great game are, on the whole, kindly, generous and polite to a fault. Yes, a gentle ribbing is not entirely uncommon, and often encouraged, but it is all in good spirit and never taken at all seriously. Inviting the opposition around to watch the game will surely liven up the day and bring an extra little bit of spice that might otherwise be missing.

Grub up: Speaking of spice, don’t forget to stock up on the nibbles. More often than not there is more than one game to get through and all of that passion and heated debate can make the stomach grumble. Don’t spend hours in the kitchen or anything. The day is for you to enjoy too. But some simple snacks and drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) will be very much appreciated.

Organise your space: It goes without saying, but the focus of the day is going to be centred around the television set. Make sure you’ve got enough seats to accommodate however many guests you envisage turning up, and then some. If you’re worried, some cushions or a bean bag on the floor can be considered for the younger members of the group. Try it yourself if you’re feeling brave, but it’s likely you won’t be able to get up for the next part if you do.

Half-time antics: If you have a garden, why not pop outside at half-time for a bit of a throw around? Everybody can get involved and it might take your mind of that try that wasn’t. Okay, maybe it won’t. But it’s better to take your frustrations out on a rubber ball than a really expensive flat screen.

And finally…

Remember, it’s just a game: We all know that it can be very easy to get caught up in the emotions of it all, but really I t is just another great excuse to get everybody together for a good time. Have some food, have some drinks, have a talk and a laugh and enjoy the spectacle that is the Six Nations. In other words, enjoy yourself.

Whoever you’re supporting in the Six Nations, or even if you’re not supporting anybody at all, we at Belvoir hope you have a great time and take in the atmosphere of this great competition in this, our great city.

Good luck to all involved…..Come on Scotland!!!