The blog from West Park - all our latest news and views — articles for December 2013

Six tips to survive Dundee’s festive party season

A group of friends celebrate with champagne. The party season is here and it’s time to start getting into the festive spirit. Check out our tips for surviving all those Christmas and Hogmanay parties.

1. Choose the right party night.

If you’re not responsible for your Christmas work’s do, you can always organise a night out for friends in Dundee. West Park still has some limited availability on Christmas party nights and if you’re looking to celebrate a traditional Hogmanay with a Ceilidh and a few drams of whisky, we can offer that too.

2. Go easy.

It’s easy to over-indulge on alcohol at this time of year but stick to the same drinks and drink water in between. This way you’ll pace yourself and be more likely to go the distance, and avoid a pounding headache the next day.

3. Fuel up.

Eat plenty on the day of the party to prevent a hangover. Our Hogmanay Party starts with an indulgent three-course dinner, to give you the staying power to see the New Year in.

4. Charge your phone.

Make sure your mobile is fully charged, so you can send those ‘Happy New Year’ texts or let the babysitter know if you need an extra hour’s partying. 

5. Home bound.

Pre-book your taxi before you head out, no one wants to get caught short once the night has finished. See if you can share a cab with colleagues or friends and then you can split the cost.

6. Hangover SOS.

Hair of the dog and a greasy fry-up are traditional ‘day after’ cures but health experts suggest an Alka-Seltzer, sleep and re-hydrating with water is more effective. Squeeze in some shut-eye and avoid making any commitments to family and friends, so you have plenty of time to recover… for the next party! 

If you’ve left your office Christmas party, friends or family get-together until the last minute, don’t panic; you can still get some great last-minute deals. At West Park, we have some late availability for Christmas and New Year’s parties and we can still squeeze you in for our infamous Hogmanay Party and Hoolie - just get in touch.

Read Six tips to survive Dundee’s festive party season …

Five steps to choosing the perfect engagement ring

A man slips a wedding ring onto a woman's finger whilst she holds a bouquet. Are you planning on popping the big question, but clueless about engagement rings? Or perhaps you’re hoping your Mr Right will get down on one knee? Check out our five tips to help you buy the perfect ring or share this article with the man of your dreams!

  1.  Fix your budget

The tradition is to spend at least a month’s salary on an engagement ring but you should only spend what you can afford. Be determined to only look at rings within your price range to avoid falling in love with one you can’t afford.

  2.  Tune into her taste

Find out your partner’s tastes; what she likes will help you to narrow down the engagement rings on offer. Pay close attention to the jewellery that she normally wears; is it classic or vintage? Which metals does she prefer? Also, ask family and friends for ideas - if you can trust them to keep the proposal a secret!  

  3.  Know the basics

A ring is made up of a band, a gemstone and a setting. The band is the circular part of the ring that sits around the finger and is usually made from gold, silver or platinum. The gemstone is the feature of the ring and is traditionally a diamond for engagement rings. The setting refers to the piece that holds the gemstone in place.

  4.  Diamond jargon busting

You may have heard of the ‘4Cs’ of diamonds. The ‘4Cs’ refer to the cut, carat, colour and clarity of a diamond. The way a diamond is cut gives it its shape. Cut styles include emerald, oval and princess. The weight of a diamond is measured in carats and the average weight of a diamond engagement ring is between half a carat and one carat. Diamonds appear colourless but actually contain subtle shades of colour; the closer it is to having no colour the more valuable it is. Clarity refers to the natural imperfections in a diamond; the fewer imperfections or flaws the greater the clarity and the sparkle (and cost)!

  5.  Pick a jeweller

Choose a jeweller you feel comfortable with; let them know your budget and your partner’s tastes and spend time talking to them about what you want. Sometimes the particular style you like may need to be made, which can take up to four weeks, so factor that into your proposal planning. And don’t forget the boring bits; ask for a diamond certificate, keep your receipt as proof of purchase and consider adding the ring to your content insurance.

Now you’re ready to pop the question!  If you’re looking for a venue in Dundee to celebrate your engagement, West Park has a wide range of affordable options available. Or, if you’re thinking of getting married in 2014, check out our late availability wedding packages. Our Wedding Exhibition, on Sunday 26 January 2014, is the perfect opportunity to start exploring the style of wedding you want.

Good luck with your proposal!

Read Five steps to choosing the perfect engagement ring…