It goes without saying that this year, we’ve had quite a summer. With temperatures soaring into the 30s in some parts of the UK, it’s been one of the hottest years on record, giving many of us a rare chance to enjoy the great outdoors. The fiercest sunshine may be just about over, but summer still reigns strong, and the remaining warm breeze lends itself perfectly to one of the most enjoyable summer activities: hosting a garden party.
Whether you have an acre or a small patio space at your disposal, you can easily host a seamless and stylish al fresco meal for friends and family.
It may seem obvious, but planning the menu ahead is essential for your garden party. After all, there’s nothing worse than being rushed off your feet on the day itself, especially in this heat. The golden rule here is to avoid overcomplicating things - keep it simple with easy to prepare, easy to serve dishes that your guests can help themselves to. Think salads, and big one-pan dishes like paella that everyone can dig into.
Looking the part
Not you - your home! Your garden party can be as formal or as informal as you like, but having a beautifully laid table can make your guests feel like they are part of a special occasion. Consider using a tablecloth - a bright white one will make both your food and table decor pop, and it also saves on cleaning at the end of the night. If you already host frequently, or plan to do so in the future, a sterling silver decanter can be a great long-term investment and can also be the finishing touch on a well thought-out table.
Preparing for eventualities
Despite the beautiful weather of late, we do still reside in the Northern Hemisphere… and once the sun goes down, it can get pretty chilly. If you want to relax in your garden with your guests until long after sundown, just ensure you have a few things to hand. A selection of fluffy blankets or throws never go amiss, nor do a few lighting options so you’re not sat in the dark. LED lanterns or tea lights can really help to set a cosy atmosphere right up until your guests depart for the evening.