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Who doesn’t love a great garden party?
Some of you may be trying to squeeze in the last barbecue before summer ends and we venture into autumn and winter. Well, although the weather might not be quite so warm or the sun shining so bright, there is no reason to give up on your garden just yet.
A little fresh air does us all good every now and then and sometimes the best garden parties are those that are less than conventional. By all means make the most of the spring and summer weather but try and think outside the box when it comes to autumn and winter.
We’re not suggesting that you sit in the garden until you begin to resemble an icicle, just that you could invite friends round to enjoy a movie night next to the fire after having a delicious candlelit dinner in the garden with hot mulled wine or cider and cheese fondue whilst wrapped in warm blankets.
Make it even cosier by preparing a small log fire near the table. If you’re going to do this just make sure that you let your friends know that they will need to wrap up warm and have a box of cosy blankets and throws at the ready; you could even go the extra mile by throwing the blankets in the tumble dryer or heating them on the radiator so they are nice and toasty when everyone takes their seats outside.
We haven’t quite said goodbye to summer yet however, so why not throw a fabulous garden party to make the most of the sun while it lasts! Pull out all the stops and make it a party to be remembered. In order to do this, you just need to make sure you take all of the following into consideration:
– Firstly you need to decide what type of garden party you are going to throw. Does it have a specific purpose i.e. birthday celebrations, festive holidays etc. or is it just an excuse to share some delicious food with some fabulous company?
– You need to decide whether you’re going to go it alone or bring in the troops to give you a helping hand. This depends on the size of the party you are throwing and also whether you prefer to work alone or have a great natter with friends whilst you work.
– Once you have decided on the lucky few who will be invited to your garden party, you need to make sure that they jot the date down in their calendars! One of the best ways to do this is to send out invitations; spoken conversations are easily forgotten but a hardcopy that lingers on the side in your house acts as a constant reminder. You could make some beautiful invitations to post or alternately you could send invitations by email, text or create a private event on Facebook and invite all your friends; Facebook will also send out a reminder before the event so your guests have no excuses for being late.
– You may want to host a traditional garden party but if you fancy doing something different, consider running with a theme. You don’t even need to go overboard with a theme, you can go as simple or as extravagant as you want but great ways to implement your theme are with décor, the menu and drinks, entertainment, music and costumes.
– To really impress your guests, you need to make every aspect of your party aesthetically pleasing, from the food and drinks to the garden itself and the table setting. Think about how you can decorate, from table centrepieces to outdoor lighting.
– There are so many options you can choose from when it comes to food and drink: you could cook up a barbecue and put out beers in ice buckets around the table, serve afternoon tea, prepare a beautiful picnic, serve up a Mediterranean spread with cocktails and sangria or embrace the British culture and order fish and chips to eat from the newspaper. As we are kitchen fanatics we recommend you seize any opportunity to get in the kitchen and cook up a feast!
– Make sure you take a moment when you are planning your party, to stop and consider whether your guests have any special requirements, such as food allergies or intolerances; you don’t want a vegetarian turning up to find nothing but burgers! Also, if you have any friends or family bringing children you may want to prepare some party bags to keep them entertained or set up a games area in the garden where they can run wild.
– It’s not only the children who are likely to get restless; there is only so long a group of people can sit round a table for before they become fidgety. It’s always a good idea to plan some form of activity or entertainment to keep everyone happy. You could set up an outdoor game of rounders, croquet or bowls, bring out a classic board game or pack of cards or even suggest going on a short walk in the countryside. If there are children at the party it’s a great idea to prepare a treasure hunt. This way the children and adults can work together following clues, to hunt for a hidden prize.
– The last thing you want is for everyone to sit down as you serve up a feast and then the heavens open. It’s important to take precautions for the weather because as we all know too well, the great British weather can be less than predictable. Have a contingency plan in place just in case; perhaps you have enough room indoors to host everyone, or you could put a gazebo up in the garden, you could even consider moving the date if the weather is looking really bad in the morning.
Now you have your checklist in place, it’s time to get the ball rolling and start planning your garden party. Enjoy dining alfresco in all seasons!