There is nothing better than sitting down to eat outdoors amongst nature, whether it is a planned Summer garden party or an impromptu picnic in the park. There is something wonderful about the mixture of fresh air, sunshine, socializing and of course eating! This year, aside from taking full advantage of the sun, a garden party is also on my list of essential summer activities. What could be better than getting together with friends and family to catch up and enjoy some delicious dishes. Here’s how I am planning mine:
Hot Summer garden parties are all about bright colors and twinkling lights. Pinterest is always my first stop when I am planning pretty much anything, there are a huge range of ideas if you are stuck for inspiration. There are plenty of DIYs and inexpensive ways for you to set the mood for your Summer party, for example, DIY bunting using colorful napkins or laying down some cushions for a soft relaxing area.
Darling Dress Code
There doesn’t really need to be a dress code but if it is a themed Summer garden party, be sure to let them know well in advance. For example, if you are throwing the ultimate Hawaiian bash get your guests dressed up in straw skirts and palm tree shirts! Otherwise, something light and airy would be fitting for the weather enabling ultimate comfort. If it is going to be a super-hot day, suggest bringing their swimsuits and have the ultimate water fight!
Now this is the exciting part, how will you get your guests involved? Heading towards Summer means that shops will be stocking up with Swingball and other fun outdoor games, which are perfect for getting people to loosen up and enjoy themselves. However, this doesn’t mean you need to head down to your local shop straight away, have a look at what you already have. For example, you could create a treasure hunt by hiding things from around your home in your garden. Team games are a brilliant way to get everyone involved and help everyone have a good night’s sleep!
If you prefer a more relaxing Summer garden party, with minimal effort, look out for sharing platters in food shops. Around this time, shops go all out for fresh summer platters and yummy light desserts. Alternatively, you could ask everyone to bring a dish for a beautifully varied spread with little to no effort from you in the kitchen.
On the other hand, there are plenty of online recipes like these sweet heat cherry wine baby back ribs, to bring out your inner chef. Make sure you are aware of any vegetarians or vegans, this way you can cater to everyone. Ice cream and cold desserts are super yummy and just right on a hot day. Or if you want a healthier option, chop up some fruit for an exotic fruit salad.
If you are throwing a BBQ, then preparation is key. If you have everything ready to go before your guests arrive, you’ll have time for socializing in the garden and enjoying your party! Remember to marinate any meat for as long as you can in advance to really bring out the flavors before barbecuing.
Ice, ice and lots of ice. Yes, warm sunny days call for cold drinks with extra ice. Squash and juice are refreshing choices for those who are not drinking and little tots. Mocktails are a great option for non-drinkers, who still want to get involved in the mini umbrella action! Don’t forget to keep a bucket of cold water or ice outside to help keep your drinks cool throughout the day. Hot days also mean you need to stay fully hydrated, so ensure you keep yourself and your guests drinking plenty of fluids.
If you have lots of guests who are up for something a little stronger, then cocktails jugs and punch bowls like this colorful sangria are delicious and quick. There are loads of fun summer themed beverage ideas online to get the party started! Keep a good stock of beer and ciders in a cool box for easy access outside.
If you do decide to go with a themed Summer garden party, you could always tailor your drinks menu too. For example, Hawaiian themes are the epitome of summer parties, drinking from coconuts and Hawaiian themed cocktails will be sure to get you in the summer mood.
Accommodation For All
Time to dive into the garden shed and brush the cobwebs off your garden set. If you find yourself in need of extra table space, you can use camping tables or bring out the dining table if it isn’t too much hassle. Or you could have just one main table with all the food laid out for people to pick from. With more table space, it’s more than likely you will need to create more space to sit everyone down, so grab any folding chairs and dining room chairs you have and bring them out. If your family is anything like mine then you will probably need extra everything! If you don’t have enough seats, then picnic blankets or plain sheets are a great alternative for seating the younger ones for a picnic.
Sunny days outside are all fun and games, until you get sunburnt. Make sure you are protected from the sun with a factor 30 or above sunscreen. There’s nothing worse than waking up after a great Summer garden party and with your skin feeling tender! Shade is also important, garden tables usually have a slot where you can place an umbrella however, sometimes there isn’t one. If possible, place the table under the shade of a tree or wear hats to protect yourself.
So, there you have it, the key to a successful Summer garden party is to be prepared and to just have fun. And with these tips you will be sure to have the ultimate stress-free Summer garden party!