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The Queen may think she has the edge on garden parties, but she probably hasn’t been to one of yours. With our winning ideas, we can help you put together an outdoor soiree that’ll have your friends making a beeline for your green space all summer long.
You don’t need a large garden to host a successful party. The most important thing is to create a welcoming ambience that’ll make your guests feel comfortable.
Top image: Debenhams Andreas Carver Dining Chairs
Work out where you want your guests to sit and stick to it – this will dictate where you’ll put your table (if serving food) and where your guests will dance or gather for a chat. Seating can be made more comfortable with cosy seat cushions and you can add throws for a colour contrast and a little extra warmth if it gets chilly. Large waterproof floor cushions and beanbags are perfect for younger members of the family or for simply relaxing on a hot day.
Keep your drinks cool by filling a large container with chilled water and crushed ice. It saves you and your guests from having to go into your kitchen every time they need a top-up. A selection of cocktails especially Pims and non-alcoholic drinks go down a treat in the summer.
Left image: The White Company Lantern | Right image: Cox and Cox Bulb lights
For an ‘enchanted garden’ feel, hang bulb lights or sophisticated glass bottles or jars with tea lights inside, these look great on exposed walls or features like gazebos or rose arches. Draping a rope of solar lights or battery powered fairy lights around trees or hedges is a quick and easy solution that can be added or removed at any time. Battery powered hurricane lamps on top of walls or solar powered lights along pathways are a great idea because there’s no need to plug them into a power source, whilst tea lights floating on your pond will give your garden a magical effect.
If food is the focal point, a trestle table and bench seats will help gather everyone round. Citronella or lemongrass candles don’t just look romantic, when they’re twinkling in the twilight, they’re ideal for keeping flies and mosquitoes at bay. Equally, slicing lemons in half and pricking the pulp with whole cloves make decorative table top features while repelling insects away from food.
Do you have a theme for your party? If so, food should reflect this. From afternoon tea with sandwiches, cake and scones to light bites with fresh salads and nibbles. Consider the time of day. If it’s warm outside it’s a good idea to avoid fish or poultry that might end up sitting in the sun. Remember your vegetarian guests and those who may have food intolerances. It’s much easier to cater for all tastes these days.
Unless you’re serving barbecue food or have a pizza oven, it’s a good idea to prep everything before your guests arrive and keep plates of food in the fridge or somewhere cool until it’s ready to eat.
So, once you’ve got your guests, your food, your fizz and some ambient summer tunes, the rest is easy. Discover more inspiration on our Pinterest page, from outdoor seating, garden decor and more.
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