If you want to throw the perfect summer get together in the comfort of your own garden, it’ll probably take quite a lot of organisation and set up to get it just right.
Don’t let this put you off, though – there are plenty of ways in which you can coordinate everything in the days leading up to it. This’ll save stress on the day, plus any last-minute running around.
How to Host the Party of the Summer:
Get your lawn looking lush
If you’re planning on having some party games to keep the guests entertained, such as croquet or swing ball, then you’ll want to make sure that the surface is looking its best. You could even be planning on laying down some quilts for an improvised social area if there is limited seating.
Regularly mowing your lawn keeps it looking healthy. For best results, cut it two days before the gathering. This way, it’ll have time to adjust again but will also prevent your guests trailing any left-behind grass cuttings around.
Jazz up your garden
Decorations can include bunting, handmade place settings, jam jars to store cutlery, or handpicked flowers for the table. Sticking to a colour scheme can make it more aesthetically pleasing, but it isn’t essential.
Also, think about whether the party will be continuing after sunset. Make sure there’s sufficient lighting in the form of candles, lanterns or solar-powered lamps. Try to go for battery powered to prevent various electrical wires getting in the way.
Plan the menu
Will it be finger food with classic tea party sandwiches suitable for the Queen, like you’d find at a Buckingham Palace garden party? Or will it be a full-on British barbecue to make the most of the glorious weather?
Either way, you’ll want to make sure you do what you can before the big day. Get the grill ready with a deep clean if it’s the first time it has been used for a while, and ensure you make some extra fridge space.
The night before, prepare any pasta dishes, salads and dips, so they’re ready to bring out of the fridge just before the guests start arriving. Also, marinade any meat if you are going to be barbecuing.
Want to get out the barbecue but don’t want to be limited to burgers and hot dogs? We have some great recipes on our blog of alternative side dishes and even deserts which will ensure you make the most of your outdoor appliance before the bad weather sets in again.
If you are following trends for 2018 you may have even invested in a Pizza Oven, they are super easy to use and have pizzas ready in as little as 60 seconds!
Keep the drinks flowing…
Depending on your guests, the beverages can often be just as important as the food.
To save much bother, invest in some large storage containers for your drinks so your guests can help themselves. This will prevent you running around after everyone too much.
You may want to get some coolers or ice buckets to keep everything cold. Also, make sure there are reusable plastic glasses available, so there’s no risk of breakages.
As well as soft drinks such as elderflower fizz, there are boozy summer favourites such as Pimm’s, Sangria and Mojitos which will no doubt go down a treat.
…and the background music
Even if you and your friends can talk non-stop for hours, you’ll probably still want to have a bit of background atmosphere.
A speaker which you can bring outdoors will allow you to listen to the hottest summer pop hits, or some laidback tunes for a relaxed evening when you’re too full of food to dance.
If you’re nervous about trying to curate a playlist which everyone likes, a Bluetooth-enabled speaker will let anybody with a compatible device hook up. Most also work with music platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music, so no matter everyone’s personal choice, they’ll still be able to connect.
We have reviewed some of the best wireless speakers which will have you listening in no time.
Warm up the hot tub
No summer garden get-together is complete without a paddling pool, especially when there are kids invited. But why not go one better and get a hot tub?!
There are tubs available which will fit seven or eight people at any one time, so there won’t be too much fighting about who makes it in first. Most take around 10-12 hours to heat up sufficiently, so they’ll be ready for the morning if switched on overnight.
(Just remember to warn your guests to bring suitable clothing when you send out the invites).
Be prepared for the evening chill
The temperature during the day may well be approaching 30°C, but this means you may feel the cold as dusk approaches. Whether you decide to keep the party going outside with the help of blankets or want to move into the comfort of your home, you’ll want to be prepared.
If the latter is your preferred choice, investing in a log burner will keep your front room cosy all year round. They are a much safer alternative to open fires and, getting back to the subject of your party, will keep your guests from going home far too prematurely.