Hosting the perfect summer party
The weather is getting warmer and the evenings are getting longer. What a perfect opportunity to host a summer party in the garden! Our handy guide will help you get organised.
Whether you plan to invite friends, family or a mix of the two, consider the available space and practicalities such as seating for guests who won’t want to stand for the duration. Consider too whether you want to have children around, and whether your garden space is suitable for younger guests. You can hire or buy great outdoor games and activities if you have the space for them; anything from giant Jenga to mini bouncy castles and paddling pools are great choices.
Choose your theme
There are plenty of great themes to choose for your garden party. Why not have a Mexican or salsa-themed event with a pinata, dancing and chilli? Or you could have a Hawaiian theme with flower garlands and punch. A Royal theme is also great for a patriotic feel; break out the traditional bunting, vintage china and floral accessories. You’ll find plenty of Royal inspiration online.
Think about catering
There are endless choices for catering an outdoor event. You could prepare or buy snack foods such as vol au vents and freeze them in advance. In fact, if you regularly host parties, some people buy commercial refrigeration solutions to provide extra freezing capacity and to cater for entertaining. Try having a look on the internet for local catering companies for inspiration. Being at the top of search engines like Google usually mean the company is credible for one reason or another and web design agencies like http://www.accent-adc.co.uk (who are based in Swansea) will have been tasked to optimize the site for a simple and good user experience. Finding a caterer is but one factor and a swift and easy option is ideal when set numerous tasks.
Think soft drinks for the drivers and under 18s and classic garden cocktails for everyone else. Pimms is a quintessentially English choice and summer punches are also wonderful. Simply combine a spirit of your choice with plenty of fruit, fruit juice and ice cubes. Store punch in a large bowl with a ladle and let people serve themselves. Wine can be chilled in large ice-buckets and beers can be chilled in a tub or even the bath depending on the size of your event.
Music is great for an outdoor event, but do make sure you warn the neighbours first to pre-empt any noise complaints. It’s important to be a good neighbour, so be cautious of excessive noise after dark and consider inviting your neighbours so that they are involved. Don’t forget to put up summer fairy or solar lights, and hang small lanterns from trees and patios for a wonderful dusk atmosphere. Citronella candles also keep the bugs away.
Remember to stay safe
Summer parties – and BBQs in particular – can pose health risks if you don’t take extra care with your food. Raw chicken can be particularly dangerous when it comes to food poisoning and bacteria can multiply rapidly on a warm day. Make sure that you follow good hygiene when preparing food for a party. Use separate chopping boards for meat and non-meat; wash surfaces, hands and kitchen equipment with a good anti-bacterial wash; make sure you refrigerate and freeze foods following best practice guidelines; and avoid leaving food uncovered in the sun.
Hopefully these ideas have inspired you to start preparing your own outdoor event. Make every warm day count and get that date in the diary!