home dining & kitchen

How to host a Hawaiian themed party

Hawaii is a stunning part of the world, known for its luscious landscapes, fresh, ocean-inspired food and welcoming hospitality. 
There are so many beautiful aspects of Hawaiian culture that you can incorporate into a Hawaiian themed party without being appropriative – here are our ideas on how you can host your own. 

Being the perfect host 

In Hawaii, a feast featuring lively music, vibrant décor and multicultural food is called a luau. Luaus have been celebrated in Hawaii for two centuries, but modern luaus are a mix of cultures and traditions from Hawaii and greater Polynesia, making them a fantastic way to bring people from all walks of life together. 
Hawaiians are known for their friendly, inclusive attitude – as a top tourist destination, they’re more than used to catering for guests and know just how to make people feel welcome. 
For your Hawaiian themed party, channel the Hawaiian spirit and supercharge your hospitality – we’re thinking welcome drinks at the door, little gifts for each guest and personalised placemats.


You could also do a little research on each guest before they arrive – have a quick scan of their Insta feed to see what they’ve been up to recently – memorise the names of any new babies/pets/partners and take note if they’ve moved house or got a new job. This is a great way to really connect with your guests and help them feel welcome – a true Hawaiian trait!

Food for your Hawaiian themed party 

Hawaii is an island, so seafood is a key to the dining experience – tuna in particular is central to mealtimes in Hawaii. Fresh fruit like pineapple and coconut create that authentic, tiki vibe and sweet potato is also an important ingredient in many classic Hawaiian dishes. 

Food is fresh and local with plenty of zest, made for eating informally and sharing around. The poke bowl is a great example of classic Hawaiian food – based around fish, filled with flavour and perfect for passing among guests. 


Our favourite Hawaiian recipes

Sheldon Simeon’s Hawaiian-style ahi poke 

  • 2lbs sashimi-grade ‘ahi tuna, cubed
  • 64g sweet onion, diced 
  • 1tbs flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) 
  • 1 chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • 32g chopped ogo seaweed 
  • 2tbs ground or finely chopped candlenuts or macadamia nuts
  • 32g spring onions, thinly sliced 

  • Add the tuna, onion, salt, chilies, seaweed, nuts and onions in to a bowl.
  • Gently fold until thoroughly mixed. 
  • Season to taste and serve immediately.

Hawaiian sweet potato casserole  

  • 128g light brown sugar 
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 6 large sweet potatoes 
  • 1tbs cold butter, cut into pieces 
  • 2tsp salt 
  • 6 bananas, sliced 
  • 2 cans crushed pineapple 
  • 250ml pineapple juice 
  • 1tsp lemon juice 
  • 2 tbs honey

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. 
  • Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. 
  • Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  • In a pot, add the sweet potatoes and cover with salted water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain the potatoes and allow to steam dry before peeling and cutting into slices.
  • In your prepared baking dish, layer the potatoes, add the cold butter, and season with salt. 
  • Arrange the bananas over the potatoes and sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. 
  • Top the bananas with crushed pineapple. 
  • In a bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and honey until dissolved. 
  • Pour the mixture over the crushed pineapple. 
    Add to oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until browned on top.

Roy Yamaguchi’s green beans 

  • 70g bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 113g green beans, tips cut off
  • 128g tofu, crumbled 
  • 1 egg

Miso mixture
  • 1tsp white miso
  • 1tsp mirin
  • 1tsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1tsp toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1tsp katsuobushi
  • In a bowl, prepare the miso mixture by combining the miso, soy sauce, sugar and mirin and then set aside. 
  • In a pan, over a low heat, sauté the onions and bacon for 1 minute. 
  • Add the green beans to your pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Then, add the tofu and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the water content evaporates slightly.  
  • Our in the miso mixture and stir
  • Crack in the egg and stir mix in thoroughly.  
  • Once mixed, add everything to a plate and garnish with sesame seeds and katsuobushi.
For your Hawaiian party drinks, a Blue Hawaiian is the ultimate tiki cocktail to serve. 

  • Light rum
  • Blue curacao
  • Pineapple juice
  • Pineapple slice 
  • Maraschino cherry 
  • Cream of coconut

  • Pour the rum, blue cacao, pineapple juice and coconut cream in to a blender.
  • Combine with ice and blend until smooth. 
  • Pour into your favourite cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of pineapple and a maraschino cherry. 


Setting the scene with a garden party

When it comes to creating the perfect setting for your Hawaiian themed party, it has to be an outdoor affair. 
Hawaii is all about being close to nature – ok, so your back garden might not quite have the same vibe as the lush Hawaiian landscape, but with some clever styling you can create a natural style. 
We love this leaf print tablecloth and these contrasting placemats to create a nature-inspired base for your food to be served from. 

Look for accessories made from natural materials, like this leaf shaped serving platter
This rattan serving tray is perfect for housing bread baskets or cutlery wrapped in napkins. And to create comfy seating areas for your guests to relax, use these Hawaiian themed outdoor cushions.  


Hawaiian themed party games

Luaus are all about music, fun and togetherness, so party games are a big feature. 
The most classic party game is the Hawaiian limbo – two guests hold a long stick between them at various heights as the rest of the party limbo underneath it. How low can you go?!
Another great one - especially if you have kids at your party – is ‘pass the coconut’. Like hot potato, a coconut is passed around to music and when the music stops, if you’re holding the coconut you’re out. Last one standing wins!

And if you want to create a really authentic Hawaiian themed garden party, why not try a traditional game? 
A bit like lawn bowling, ‘ulu maika is a traditional, ancient Hawaiian game. Push two wooden sticks into the ground, six inches apart. Players stand about 15 feet away and have to roll their stones smoothly between the two stakes. It takes concentration and coordination and will encourage a healthy dose of competition among your guests!

How to dress up for your Hawaiian themed party 

If you’re wondering how to dress for a Hawaiian theme party without resorting to the slightly cringey Hawaiian shirt, we’ve got you. 
Give a subtle nod to the theme with this understated tropical print dress and these woven straw flatform sandals. Finish the look with a bright pink lipstick and a flower in your hair. 


Your perfect Hawaiian party playlist

Hawaiian music is chilled and laidback with a quintessential summer vibe – perfect for a garden party! 
One of the most famous songs to come out of Hawaii is Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s cover of Over the Rainbow – an end of the night classic to send everyone off with a smile on their face. 
Here’s our Hawaiian party playlist to enjoy throughout your gathering. 

So, get your Hawaiian party booked in the diary and enjoy the laidback vibes in your garden. 
In need of more inspiration? Discover our blog post on how to get your garden ready for summer with help from our La Redoute experts. 
Enjoy the party!
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